Skip to main content

Full text of "Intellectual and political currents in the Far East"

See other formats


Google 



This is a digital copy of a book lhal w;ls preserved for general ions on library shelves before il was carefully scanned by Google as pari of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

Il has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one thai was never subject 

to copy right or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often dillicull lo discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher lo a library and linally lo you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud lo partner with libraries lo digili/e public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order lo keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial panics, including placing Icchnical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make n on -commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request thai you use these files for 
personal, non -commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort lo Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each lile is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use. remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 

countries. Whether a book is slill in copyright varies from country lo country, and we can'l offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through I lie lull lexl of 1 1 us book on I lie web 
al |_-.:. :.-.-:: / / books . qooqle . com/| 



J 






**>>^--m^tf* 



I 




•J 



•i-^^w-.^V^ift 



*p profwwor panl ft. BttMtb 



INTELLECTUAL AND POLITICAL CUR- 
RENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

WORLD POLITICS 

COLONIAL GOVERNMENT 

COLONIAL ADMINISTRATION 

AMERICAN LEGISLATURES AND LEGIS- 
LATIVE METHODS 

PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL UNIONS 

READINGS ON AMERICAN FEDERAL 
GOVERNMENT 

READINGS ON AMERICAN STATE GOV- 
ERNMENT 

ENGLISH COMMON LAW IN THE EARLY 
AMERICAN COLONIES 



I 




^k^-wr?m& 



I 




•» *\. 



■j 



: ?k'm^ : wx& 



To A. M. R. 

Quorum pars magna JuM 



.1 ' 



PREFACE 

As long as a hundred years ago a great philosopher 
said, "Indian wisdom is streaming back to Europe and 
will bring about a fundamental change in our knowledge 
and thought." But it is only the events of the more re- 
cent past — the rise of Japan, the great Chinese trans- 
formation, the nationalist movement throughout the 
Orient — that have made us more generally conscious 
of the fact that the separate existence of the East and 
the West has come to an end, and that, in profoundly 
influencing each other, they will both contribute their 
share in developing the all-human civilization of the 
future. There have been great crises in past history, 
but none comparable to the drama which is now being 
enacted in the Far East, upon the outcome of which de- 
pends the welfare not only of a country or section but of 
all mankind. In order that the issues now pending may 
be solved in a proper way, a sympathetic mutual under- 
standing between different races or civilizations is indis- 
pensable. 

In the essays contained in this volume no attempt has 
been made to lay down hard-and-fast conclusions, nor to 
make any political prophecies; they are merely thoughts 
and notes of one who has watched from day to day with 
the deepest interest the marvelous unfolding of a new 



viii PREFACE 

life throughout the East. In forming for himself a pic- 
ture of what is going on in the intellectual life of the Far 
East, the author has made constant use of the Oriental 
periodical press and contemporary literature, but he has 
also been assisted by numerous correspondents, who 
have kept him supplied with translations, with signi- 
ficant accounts of contemporary ideas and happenings, 
and with commentaries. All this has been most helpful 
in gaining a composite view of contemporary Oriental 
thought. The author, therefore, desires to express his 
acknowledgments to his friends and correspondents in 
the Far East, many of them former students of his; but 
especially to Mr. Horatio B. Hawkins of Soochow; Mr. 
Tsai Chu-tung and Mr. Chang Lauchi, of Shanghai; 
Mr. Stanley K. Hornbeck, of Hangchow; Mr.Motosada 
Zumoto, Dr. Toyokichi Iyenaga, Mr. Masao Matsuoka, 
Mr. R. G. Konno, Mr. Kasuo Ebina, Mr. Basanta Koo- 
mar Roy, and Mr. H. C. Das. These gentlemen are, of 
course, in no sense and in no instance responsible for 
the judgments expressed in these essays. The author 
also desires to acknowledge the kindness of the editors 
of the Atlantic Monthly and the North American Review 
for allowing him to use parts of his articles which first 
appeared in their pages. 

Paul S. Reinbch. 
Madison, July 1, 1911. 



CONTENTS 



I. Asiatic Unity 1 

II. Enebgism in the Orient 41 

III. Intellectual Leadership in Contem- 

porary India 62 

IV. Intellectual Tendencies in the Chinese 

Reform Movement 116 

V. The New Education in China . . . . 187 

VI. A Parliament for China 225 

VII. Intellectual Life in Japan 272 

VIII. Political Parties and Parliamentary 

Government in Japan 355 



INTELLECTUAL AND POLITICAL 
CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

CHAPTER I 

ASIATIC UNITY 

To personify a nation and to invest it with certain 
definite attributes has always been an attractive short- 
cut to knowledge f and a convenient basis for sweeping 
judgments. It is not surprising that this method should 
have been applied with even greater boldness to a whole 
continent, for the infinite variety of Oriental life makes 
patient inquiry exceedingly perplexing. Such aphorisms 
as "The East is the East" afford a welcome solution, 
but, it must be confessed, not one which will long satisfy 
the inquiring mind, nor afford a reliable guidance in 
political action. It may therefore be worth while to 
make some search whether amid all this diversity of so- 
cial phenomena there may actually be discovered a bond 
of unity. Are there elements in Oriental life universal 
and powerful enough to constitute a living unity of sen- 
timent for the surging multitudes of the Orient? What 
thoughts can they summon up which will stir in them 
such feelings as overcome us when we see the luminous 
masterpieces of the Greek chisel, or the soaring arches 



2 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

and pinnacles of Bourges; when we think of the civic 
wisdom of Rome, the blossoming of Christian ideals of 
the middle ages? What names are there to compel horn- 
age and undying admiration as the great ruler after 
whom all emperors are named, what philosophers to 
compare with the two Hellenic master spirits in whom 
all our thoughts and systems have their source, what 
representatives of an Oriental world-literature as uni- 
versal as the divine bard, or the exiled Ghibelline of 
Florence? 

Whether such a unity of thought and sentiment, such 
a common tradition of powerful personality exists in the 
Orient, appears at first sight very doubtful, indeed. We 
must constantly be on our guard against misleading simi- 
larities and antitheses. Truth resides neither in " Yes " 
nor "No," neither in difference nor in identity, but in 
the shade or manner, the subtle relations of thought 
which lead one race or generation to emphasize classic 
form, while another dwells on inner force or romantic 
charm, both believing after all the same religion of 
beauty. Thus the analogies between Christianity and 
Buddhism are many, and Confucius solved moral prob- 
lems in a manner not unlike other great moral teachers, 
so that his wisdom often appears trite to those who are 
looking for the strange and unaccustomed. 

Indeed, it may be said that whatever has been 
thought has, at some time or other, been thought in 
Asia. But though the periphery and the contents of two 



ASIATIC UNITY 3 

theories may be almost identical, their import may 
nevertheless be immeasurably diverse, according to the 
nuance of emphasis imparted by the psychological back- 
ground of primal motives and beliefs. Thus the theories 
of the advocate of Stuart absolutism and of the senti- 
mental herald of the Revolution are almost identical in 
their component elements, when statically compared; 
yet how vastly different in import and result, through 
distribution of emphasis and grouping of their various 
concepts. Even thus it is with Ootama, Kapila, and 
Confucius: we should probably get closer to a real under- 
standing of Asiatic unity and of the relations of East 
and West, if instead of enumerating and counterbalanc- 
ing qualities and characteristics, and setting up a fixed 
standard called Oriental, we should rather try to seize 
the subtle and Protean temper animating Oriental races; 
and instead of dilating upon the whole complex of their 
beliefs and institutions, attempt to appreciate the shades 
and gradations of meaning, and to understand the tem- 
peramental background of Oriental life and thought. 
We may then perhaps find less Orientalism in Schopen- 
hauer, as we have enough of pessimism in the West to 
supply sundry philosophers; nor shall we probably be 
confident enough to strike a balance between East and 
West that will settle categorically all questions of superi- 
ority and power of triumphant control. No glittering 
aphorisms will reward us; nor sensational thrills and ex- 
citements. These joys we must forego, if we desire to 



4 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

approach the Orient in the spirit typified by a Hum- 
boldt rather than in the excited fancy of the exorcist of 
war clouds and many-colored perils. 

The Orient has always had a dangerous fascination for 
the West; it has filled the Western mind with vague 
longings, fantastic imaginings, and lurid forebodings. 
As fur Italy with Circean charm enticed the rough riders 
of the Alemannian forests, even so the Orient has always 
cast a powerful spell over the nations of the West. Her 
deep philosophy, her venerable history, command their 
wonder and respect; her potential energy and wealth 
arouse their cupidity. The Russian mind has been espe- 
cially prone to such entrancing dreams. " The grand and 
mysterious Orient — it is ours, it is through us that its 
destiny is to be realized"; thus ran their thought; yet 
they were destined in unforeseen ways to prove the mys- 
terious power which they had hoped to bind to their 
will and make the instrument of a boundless ambition. 
Such vague aspirations make the romance of history, 
but they also make the heart-rending misery of suffering 
millions. 

Two utterances by prominent British statesmen have 
of late caused a great wave of discussion in the intellect- 
ual world of the East, particularly in India. On account 
of their deep effect — due to very different causes — they 
deserve our attention, and may reveal to us some inter- 
esting views of the temper of the Oriental mind. When 
Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon, fond of imperial display 



ASIATIC UNITY 5 

and realising the importance of an impressive cere- 
monial, was always ready to take advantage of occasions 
of public moment. It being a part of his official life to 
personify both the grandeur and the wisdom of the Brit- 
ish raj, he was not satisfied with the mere outward pomp 
and trappings of royal splendor, but also addressed 
himself to the intelligence of his subjects in dignified 
discourses. But the homily which, shortly before his 
resignation, he delivered at the Convocation of the Uni- 
versity of Calcutta seems to have gone far towards de- 
stroying whatever assuaging effect his former diplomatic 
utterances had exerted. Speaking before a select body of 
the intellectual aristocracy of India, he pronounced his 
views on some aspects of Oriental character. Though he 
directed his remarks to the graduating students, his 
words were taken by his hearers, and by those to 
whom they were reechoed through the Indian press, as 
a reproof deliberately offered to the moral character of 
India. 

The words which thus stirred up the resentment of a 
whole nation, and which are even now remembered 
throughout Asia, would not at first sight strike us as 
extravagant, accustomed as we are to the most fanci- 
ful generalizations about Oriental races. But their 
solemn recital in the face of a representative Indian 
audience, on an occasion generally consecrated to sooth- 
ing commonplaces, is an instance of the traditional de- 
fectiveness of the British sense of humor. Such sen- 



6 CURRENTS IN THE PAR EAST 

tences as the following aroused the storm which has not 
yet subsided: "The highest ideal of truth is to a large 
extent a Western conception, . . • Truth took a higher 
place in the moral codes of the West long before it had 
been similarly honored in the East, where craftiness and 
diplomatic wile have always been held in repute. We 
may prove it by the common innuendo that lurks in the 
words 'Oriental diplomacy' by which is meant some- 
thing rather tortuous and hypereubtle." Lord Cunon 
then explained that the most ordinary forms which false- 
hood takes in Indian life are exaggeration, flattery, and 
vilification. 

The retorts to this salutatory address were legion, and 
ran through the whole gamut of feeling, from bitter 
recrimination to dignified regret at the Viceroy's total 
misunderstanding of native life and ideals. There was no 
scarcity of material for retort, when the records of the 
British conquest in India were raked up. Lord Lytton's 
definition of a diplomat, and such well-known epithets 
as perfide Albion, not to speak of more pointed and per- 
sonal charges, were cited to neutralize the innuendo; 
while a strange light was cast upon Western veracity by 
recounting the methods of American fraud concerns. 
Comparisons between the Greek and the Indian epic 
readily revealed the unfoundedness of Lord Curson's 
allusion to the historic development of the sense of truth- 
fulness; Greek practice, too, was very unfavorably con- 
trasted with that of Asiatic nations like Persia. General 



ASIATIC UNITY 7 

surprise was expressed at the rash generalisations of the 
Viceroy: "The idea of summing up a whole continent 
in a single phrase can occur only to the very ignorant or 
the very confident." Lord Curzon had " given rein to 
the ignorant conceit of pigment and power/ 1 and had 
"emulated Elijah in berating a whole nation." Sarcastic 
references to Western forms of speech became very 
common in India, such as, "anew liquor-shop, — they 
call it a saloon in the more truthful phraseology of 
the civilised West." 

The occurrence, however, stirred up feelings deeper 
than a mere passing resentment and irritation. It led to 
an earnest self-analysis, and an accounting was taken of 
the Indian intellectual temper in its relation to the Euro- 
pean rulers. While the most serious-minded among the 
educated Hindus freely admitted that the strictures of 
Lord Curzon were not entirely unfounded, they with 
bitterness of heart advanced the charge that if the char- 
acter and the national self-respect of the Indian people 
had been impaired, such was the inevitable result of 
unfreedom and political subjection. " The greatest evil," 
they said, "that has been wrought by the political do- 
minion of England over India is the loss of our old Ori- 
ental dignity and reserve — that nobility of knowing 
reticence." Despotism and lying go together, as the 
national spirit is debased by subjection, and the indi- 
vidual who is oppressed will, like the boy, look upon a 
falsehood as an abomination before the Lord, but a very 



8 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

present help in trouble. That the head of the alien gov- 
ernment should charge a nation with weaknesses which 
might largely be attributed to its position of dependence, 
was, in the eyes of these critics, to add insult to an in- 
jury for which his own people were responsible. 

But aside from a certain degeneracy imposed by un- 
kind conditions, the full tragedy of which they keenly 
felt, the leaders of Indian thought would not admit that 
veracity and honesty are held in less esteem in the Orient 
than among European peoples. They pointed out, how- 
ever, a highly important difference in valuations, the 
spirit of which Lord Curzon had failed to mention or to 
perceive. While freely admitting the greater exactness 
of the Western mind in observation and statement, they 
attributed this not to superior honesty but to a keener 
perception of the utility of accurate thought. Veracity 
is a social and commercial commodity in England and 
America, in many cases scarcely involving any moral 
valuations at all. If, on the other hand, the Oriental is 
prone to exaggeration, this is not due to a deliberate 
desire to deceive and to impart false impressions. His 
temper being emotional and idealistic, he makes known 
his impressions in a language, not mathematically precise 
and coldly accurate, but designed to awaken the same 
emotions of surprise, wonder, admiration, or fear, which 
he himself experienced. He is not dishonest, though his 
statements lack accuracy. In the words of an Indian 
writer, "It will not do to exaggerate the heating power 



ASIATIC UNITY 

of the sun, if you want to roast your beef by his rays. 
When, however, you do not desire to install the luminary 
of day as your chef, but to contemplate his majesty 
and glory, to meditate on the promise of his morning 
rays, and read the message of his dying splendors, then 
the play of the poetic imagination becomes an essential 
condition." Educated Hindus were inclined to doubt 
whether the standard of utility is higher than the emo- 
tional and spiritual standard of the Indian mind. 

In considering the question of the valuations of the 
ideal of truth, I need not repeat Max Mailer's brilliant 
vindication of the essential truthfulness of Oriental 
races, nor should we perhaps be ready to follow him in 
every detail of his apologetics. But we shall find that 
most fundamental honesty which requires that our ac- 
tions should correspond to our profession and our be- 
liefs, in as high regard among the Oriental peoples as 
with those of the West. The ideals of their beliefs may be 
less elevated than our own, but at any rate there is also 
less variance between actions and belief among Con- 
fucians, Shintoists, and Buddhists than among the ma- 
jority of good Christian people. Moreover, a more hon- 
est attitude towards the problems of life than that which 
characterizes the thought of Buddha and Confucius can 
hardly be imagined; the relations of life are clearly seen, 
social duties are faithfully met, and no facile optimism 
is allowed to gloss over life's tragedies. Buddha faced 
unflinchingly the misery of existence, and without ap- 



10 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

pealing for salvation to a future state, worked with a will 
to discover the path by which men can gain peace and 
an ennobled life here below. Such a system, if not true, 
is certainly at least honest. 

Nothing has set up a more impassable barrier between 
the peoples of the East and the West than the profound 
discrepancy between Christian profession and practice. 
The deceitful selfishness, the rapacity and bloodshed, 
with which Christian nations have established their 
power in the Orient, the viciousnessof the earlier adven- 
turers and traders, have thoroughly alienated sympathy 
and destroyed confidence. When, after the revolting 
record of the Chinese War, the Western nations offer 
themselves as moral exhorters, the cultured Oriental 
is tempted to smile at the incongruity. But the disillu- 
sionment which is thus created has its tragic side, too. 
How pathetic is the blighted hope and utter despair of an 
ardent convert like Nilakantha Goreh whose high expec- 
tations of Christian life are disappointed! After cutting 
loose from his earlier beliefs, and thereby bringing deep 
sorrow on all his beloved ones, 1 this young Indian scholar 
came to England to live in that atmosphere of love and 
purity whose ideal simplicity had attracted his soul after 
he had fought his way through all the systems of Indian 
philosophy. But after six weeks in London, he came to 
his Oxford mentor with the sorrowful words, "If what I 



1 His father took the vow of eternal alienee, so as not to have 
to pronounoe the curee against his son. 



ASIATIC UNITY U 

have seen in London is Christianity, I am no longer a 
Christian." His noble and brilliant intellect was ultim- 
ately wrecked through his great disillusionment. So it is 
possible that under the law of compensation we may 
have lost somewhat in honesty of life while we have 
gained in exactness of statement and thought. 

Though the appreciation of scientific exactness has of 
late increased very much in the Orient, yet Oriental 
thinkers are not ready to give it quite an absolutely lead* 
tng importance among their ideals. It is in this connec- 
tion that the other utterance I have mentioned — a 
recent address of Mr. Balfour as president of the British 
Association of Science — created a powerful impression 
in the Orient. He discussed the electrical theory of mat- 
ter, the latest result of the advances of physical science, 
according to which the world is motion or energy, ex- 
pressed in terms of electric monads. Under recent dis- 
coveries the supposed solidity of matter has melted 
away; with proper light we may now look through the 
heart of oak, nor will the massive fortress wall resist 
these penetrating rays. The solid mountains and an- 
cient strata of our earth are themselves but imprisoned 
energy, and all our perceptions are the result of winged 
motion. After dwelling on the marvelous vistas thus 
disclosed, the philosophical statesman said, "It may 
seem singular that down to five years ago, our race has, 
without exception, lived and died in a world of illusions, 
and that these illusions have not been about things 



12 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

remote or abstract, thingB transcendental or divine, but 
about what men see and handle, about those ' plain mat- 
ters of fact 9 among which common sense moves with its 
most confident step and most self-satisfied smile." Thus 
our sensual sight and touch have been deceived, and it 
is only through the inspired vision, the penetrating im- 
agination, of great scientific seers, that the truth of the 
real constitution of the universe is beginning to dawn 
upon our intelligence. Mr. Balfour further notes that 
through evolution our senses have not been prepared for 
the vision of the inner and absolute truth of things. The 
common sense of humanity lives in persistent illusion; 
" matter of fact " means deception. The needs of self and 
race preservation lead to all the falsehoods and deceits 
involved in the shrewdness of competitive life, the illu- 
sions of sexual selection, and the master fallacy of vulgar 
patriotism. 

When Western thinkers express and suggest such 
thoughts as these they awaken a strange echo in the 
philosophy of the East in both Hindu and Buddhist 
lands; — the vanity and illusoriness of sensual existence, 
the veil of Maya cast over us which produces the delusion 
of the ego, of finite personality; and the Buddhist belief 
that the desire for individual existence is the root of all 
suffering, that true happiness comes alone from the per- 
ception of the traiisitoriness of all things and from the 
gradual conquest of the error of self. As the implica- 
tions of these views have been fully realized in the East, 



ASIATIC UNITY 13 

the attitude of the Oriental mind towards the practical, 
scientific knowledge, which we value so highly, has dif- 
fered greatly from our own. The usefulness of science 
for increasing the comforts of life is indeed admitted, 
and use will be made of its guidance for practical pur- 
poses; but to the Oriental, soul life will always be more 
important than bodily existence. Buddhism, in the 
words of one of its adherents, finds its goal rather in the 
delights of a deep appreciation of the realities of exist- 
ence, in the exercise of the higher mental faculties, in a 
life transfused with everyday beauty, than in the posses- 
sion of innumerable means of advancing wealth and com- 
merce, of gratifying sense, of promoting merely bodily 
comfort. 

As the Oriental strives to overcome the fetters and 
limitations of personal existence, so his mind yearns 
rather towards the vast mysteries that surround life on 
all sides; it loves to dwell on the problems of infinitude 
and of the ultimate springs of human action, rather than 
to confine itself within the narrow limits of detailed scien- 
tific investigation. Notwithstanding the sane and posi- 
tivist teachings of Buddha and Confucius, their insist- 
ence on the duties of present life, their refusal to pass in 
thought beyond the awful gates of life and death, the 
yearning of the Oriental mind had been towards the 
mysterious. From the Tantra devils of Thibet, through 
the awe-struck philosophies of Hinduism, to the subtle 
imaginings of ghostly Japan, this tendency to content- 



14 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

plate the mysterious, the grand, the far-away in time 
and space, is powerfully present. Day with its solar 
splendor, with its clear and bright illumination, reveals 
the form and color of things near by, of household, mea- 
dow, and forest; yet this very brightness and effulgence 
is a heavy curtain that conceals from our sight the uni- 
verse, the myriads of worlds which the clearness of night 
will unveil. Compared to these, our empires are but 
fragments of dust. Even so the clear light of experimen- 
tal science to the Oriental seems but a shred of that veil 
of Maya which hides the real, the universal, the abso- 
lute, from our sight. 

The reason for this peculiar Asiatic bent toward the 
mystic, as compared with the white-light intelligence of 
Europe, may perhaps be found in the constant presence 
of overawing natural phenomena. Europe, with its nar- 
row valleys, its rivers across which any strong-limbed 
man may swim, its equable temperature, its normal suc- 
cession of seasons, is indeed the place where human in- 
telligence could learn to respect itself, and man conceive 
the thought of measuring his powers with those of nature. 
But stand before the heaven-conquering walls of the 
Himalayas, gase across the continents of sand in Asiatic 
deserts, shifted again and again by storm so as to sweep 
away or create anew veritable mountain ranges; contem- 
plate the torrents, which without warning bring destruc- 
tion to thousands, and the inundations in which hosts 
lose home and life ; think of earthquakes, typhoons, tidal 



ASIATIC UNITY 15 

waves, and the black scourge of famine and pestilence as 
constantly impending; and then apostrophise man and 
his intelligence as the master of it all; and you will find 
few believers among the cowed sufferers from the imperi- 
ous caprice of nature. 

Overawed by such forces, surrounded by a nature 
bountiful and caressing at one moment, bitterly cruel 
and destructive the next, the Orient could not avoid a 
temper of mind which looks on human contrivance as 
weak, on human existence as valueless, and sees real 
force and permanent sway only in the vast, mysterious 
powers of earth and sky. Personality, a mere plaything 
of the grim and irresponsible, cannot have any import- 
ance in itself; and the best solution is that all this ter- 
ror-inspiring existence is but a phantasmagoria, an illu- 
sion, a procession of incongruous dream states. And yet 
it is an emanation of the universal force. The imperson- 
ality of the Orient has for its counterpart an intensive 
appreciation of the universal force whatever it may be 
called. For as t^ e inHSyi j^ft| cqiip^ •* r^fhmg m th<^ 

philosophy of the Brahma n and the Buddhist 1 in the w 
polity of China jgd Japan , it is the realisation of the 
universal spiri t or for ce, in some form or other, th at con - 
stitutes the chief yearning of the Asiatic mind. The 
Hindu spiritualises and personifies nature in his crowded 
pantheon, and sees in all phenomena the expression of 
one mysterious will; Buddha, admitting neither spirit 
human nor divine, yet finds peace and happiness in the 



16 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

elevation of the individual mind to the plane of universal 
thought, to the contemplation of universal law. In 
China and Japan the universal is worshiped in the form 
of ancestral achievement, in that strange identification 
of ancestral spirits with the soul of the country; so that, 
in the minds of the people, sacred Fuji and the groves 
and rivers and seas of Japan are united with the qualities 
of that silent but ever-present choir of ghosts from which 
Japan draws her inspiration and strength. 

From our one-sided point of view, we would say that 
humanity in the Orient, overpowered by destiny in the 
shape of natural catastrophe, famine, pestilence, and 
war, has not yet found itself. It has never enjoyed the 
shelter of the Greek city in which Western humanity 
first became conscious of its powers and its individuality. 
For though the great master Gotama had a clear vision 
of human spiritual development, his simple and austere 
faith has been overlaid by the powerful impulse of Asiatic 
nature, with a rank growth of animism and mysticism. 
And though Confucius, too, clung to the practical, his 
very authority in the course of time deadened individual 
striving and advance. Oriental humanity has indeed 
found itself in the nation of Japan, — in that brave race 
which, drawing courage and poetry from the very terrors 
of the grave, with all the deep suggestiveness of Asiatic 
insight, has still the iron grip of self-control and the clear 
vision of the practical. 

The Orient shuns limitations. Indeed, if we may be 



ASIATIC UNITY 



17 



permitted to generalise, on e of the d 
tween Oriental and Western civilizat ion lies in the fact; 
that the former has never strictly and consi stently lira- 
ited the Add of its consciousn ess and ft f its endeav or*, hllf 
has allowed all th e jgnsatirma ftprf paflaift nfl nf p^t *"\d 

[g^lti Of tV mAafini** fwri thA infinite, fo nrnwH in 

upon iftj «n that, th^o^f** f 1*^1^11^1 fa*™ in thought 
andl ife has not been developed . While in the West, ex- 
pressing 



itseii in t^ e jHaa nf n1fmgimgm f and in the con * 
crete i magining s of the Greeks, there has been a steady 
e ffort to confine human thought and sent im ent within 

flgrtftin )mt* f fa dwftll nn r^rfrOT flflpftfitg pf lifa whifih-. 
Rflfttnftd tn hft mnat dnaply nnnnftriftH with human ppj- 



BonaUtyj jajLdnininftnt f ****/«■; grinding the fierce and 
untoward moods of nature, and suppressing certain weird 
and uncanny tendencies of thought as abnormal and in 
fact insane. But such classic limitations of individuality 
are not of the spirit of the Orient. Rather than limit the 
individual formally and thus allow the development of 
characteristic individualism, it would identify him with 
the social body, and his soul with the world-soul. Thus 
also, while most punctilious of social forms, and bowing 
to a superrefined social etiquette, it does not counten- 
ance the tyranny of shifting fashions, or the conventional 
respectability founded on a certain exclusiveness of the 
individual. 

In India, it is considered meritorious for the householder 
and father to leave behind him the confining relations of 



18 



CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 



family life and to become a hermit or monk. The man 
who leaves his home and family, dresses himself in rags, 
and ravages his body with hardships and ill-usage, may 
become an honored teacher, the intellectual and spiritual 
guide to many. Men lore to cast off the shackles of re- 
spectability and take to the highways and the woods; 
and they gain merit by so doing. They are the religious, 
the philosophers, the inspiration of the multitudes. To 
the people they appear to realise various immunities. In 
India, hermits come year after year from the mountains 
to visit valley towns, showing no signs of aging as far back 
as old men can remember. ti»m m|m<> Ipngfag for tb^, 
unlimited, the unrestrained, together with the influence 
of t errific natural phenomena in Asia, lies at the botto m 
of theuncan ny horror and mystery of Asiatic lif e^ In the 
delicate ghost stories of Japan this feeling has assumed 
a graceful and poetic aspect, the aesthetic possibilities of 
awe and terror have been realised to the full. But in 
India where coarse magic flourishes and preys on a su- 
perstitious multitude, the awfulness of the abysses of 
human consciousness may be divined. 

The Greek portrayal of death has in this respect 
sounded the keynote of our civilization. The terror, the 
heart-rending ugliness of dissolution, the hopeless void, 
are not in the remotest way suggested ; the gentleness of 
grief, the sweetness of consolation, the companionship 
of loved ones are represented; while death himself is a 
friendly genius summoning to rest. And so in our history 



ASTATIC UNITY 19 

we early outgrew ancestor worship, and resolutely turn- 
ing our back on the past with all its degrading memories 
and bestial struggles, we faced the morning of hope, the 
promise of a sunny day. Deep in the night of subcon- 
sciousness there is still a dark and unclean deposit of 
wilder ages, of sordid life, cruelty, ignoble conquest, and 
harsh passions. In the elemental fury of war, these 
lower instincts awaken, and men whom we love as 
friends and brothers may be dragged down to the level 
of a bestial age. But the total effect of our civilisation 
and training is to draw our consciousness away from 
such impulses, to concentrate our vision upon our present 
ideals. For how could we preserve a sense of individu- 
ality and spirituality, were we to be dragged back con- 
stantly into the terrors and passions of primitive ages. 
Mflfih nt * ha guttl e charm of Japanese life and poetr y 
c ornea from the ever immin ent igenge ^f an fthygmftl y^ 
which threatens to s y*Hnw up hftr flrrfy ™?f Anm f tiH 
her silent temple p-ove^ May the earthquake never 
come that will again bring uppermost the dead past in 
Japan. The Orient, through constant musing on the 
mysterious and hidden, may have fortified itself against 
the coarser aspects of the primitive in man ; but its devel- 
opment, yes, its very existence, has been jeopardized by 
this lack of limitation. Japan, it is true, has transfused 
these elements into a marvelous poetry of life, and 
China practices Confucian self-control ; but all Oriental 
peoples are ruled by these weird forces. 



20 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

While the psychological unity of the Oriental nations 
has not been so clearly and definitely worked out as it 
has been in the West, notwithstanding all minor national 
idiosyncrasies, still the Orient has also had its share of 
international unifying influences. The sacred places 
in India where the great teacher lived have for two 
thousand years attracted pilgrims from all parts of the 
Buddhist world ; and earnest students have sought deeper 
wisdom by communing with the monks of famous mon- 
asteries in Burmah and Ceylon. Ever since the embassy 
of Emperor Ming-ti sought for the new gospel in the year 
61, and the sage Fa-hien undertook his great journey, 
India has thus been visited by seekers after new light. 
Also the apostles of India's missionary religion, in its first 
age of flourishing enthusiasm, spread the teaching of 
Gotama to all the lands of southern and eastern Asia, 
even from Palestine, where they implanted the germs of 
the Western monastic system, to the far islands of the 

rising SUn. Tfrija BiiHHhiam frftftftfflA thft ffTAftteat. unify- 
ing fore? in ftARtern Afifa, and no mind nor personality 
commands a wider and more sincere homage than he who 
found the light and pointed the way, the great teacher 
"who never spake but good and wise words, he who was 
the light of the world." So it is that also in more recent 
epochs down to our own day, his thought and life have 
been and are the chief centre of the common feelings 
and enthusiasms of Asia. 
The great age of illumination under the Sung dynasty 



ASIATIC UNITY 21 

in China saw the beginning of the attempts to merge 
and fuse Taoist, Buddhist, and Confucian thought, in 
Neo-Confucianism, called by Okakura "a brilliant effort 
to mirror the whole of Asiatic consciousness." It was 
Buddhist monks and missionaries who acted as messen- 
gers between China and Japan in that great formative 
period of a thousand years, in which all the currents 
of Indian and Chinese civilization made their impress 
upon Japanese national character. Then, under the 
Tokugawa regime the independent spirits of Japan 
trained themselves for the demands of an exacting epoch 
in the thought of Wang-yang-ming, or Oyomei, which, in- 
formed with the noblest ideals and the deepest insight of 
Buddhism, joins to these a zest in active life, an ardent 
desire to participate in the surging development in which 
the universe and human destiny are unfolding them- 
selves. In this school, which combines a truly poetic 
sentiment for the pathos of fading beauty and fleeting 
fragrance, for the ghostliness of an existence made up of 
countless vibrations of past joy and suffering, with the 
courageous desire to see clearly and act with energy, 
to share to the full in this great battle we call life, — in 
this school were trained the statesmen and warriors of 
Satsuma and Choshiu who have led Japan to greatness 
in peace and glory in war. 

Tfrp unity nf AfP**™ ftivilifjfitifMi hflff fm nt ] fl" nn+nnl 

gmlflvtiTTum* m tno apirit nf Topan There it is not the 
product of political reasoning, nor the discovery of philo- 



svhich we call Asia. Even thus has Japan 
ler historic development received by gn 
bhe fruit of all Asiatic thought and endea 
these waves from the mainland washed 
rain ; her national life has not been the pre 
Mmqueroro — imposing for a brief time am 
leave no permanent trace on the national 
md character have received and acceptec 
ental influences, as the needs of her own < 
have called for them; they have not beer 
Force or by caprice, but have exerted a n 
ence and have been assimilated into a coi 
md powerful national character. A psych 
has thus been created — an actual expi 
flesh and blood of life — in touch with the 1 
and ambitions of a most truly patriotic n 
This is a far different matter from the me 
recognition of certain common beliefs, ide 
tutions throughout the Orient. On such a 
unity at most a gaHjmii inf^iio**-™-! „™~- 



ASIATIC UNITY 



23 



and it now confronts the world in the shape of a nation 
conscious of the complicated and representative charac- 
ter of its psychology, and ardently enthusiastic over the 
loftiness of its mission. We know Japanese patriotism 
as national, inspired by loyalty to the Mikado and by 
love for the land of Fujiyama; we are also learning to 
know it as Asiatic — deeply stirred by the exalting pur- 
pose of aiding that Asiatic thought-life which has made 
Japan to come to its own and preserve its dignity and 
independence through all the ages. Must we view with 
apprehension such a broadening of Japanese patriotism? 

Not if Japan herself remains true to the essential 
ideals of Eastern civilization. 

It is said that Asia « peftsimist.ift. Yet her p—^fnp 
is not the sodden gloom of HAsp*!^ whom trrrifying 
s cowl we encounter in Europe an rPAliatin Art. f at^ whinh 
i s the bitter fruit of perverted piodfi" Af ls ™ig Thepes- 

f rom Firdusi to th e writer? " f * nft AM**.** J*pane«P ff rj, 
kai, is rather a soothing, quieti ng, gythe tifl influence,. ) ike 
t he feeling ; of sadness that touc hes th e heart at the sig fet 
ofg rgat beaut y, andwhich perhflpq fa dim fr> tin* *r^™^ry 
Of al l the Ye arni ngs and repijmnifttinnfl in the experience 

of a long chain of liv eji. The jKBssimism. of the flrientia. 
tragic, rather ^tban nyniflft 1 , OTwl T°p Q n at the prfflfrflt 
t ime gives pr o of of the f&gl that t ho spirit of -tragedy 

hAlgnjraJhn ati^Tjg pofinna 

As tragedy was the art of the Greeks before Pericles 



24 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

and of the Elizabethan English, so modern Japan draws 
strength from that deep undercurrent of tragic feeling in 
her nature. The attitude of the Japanese mind is further 
apparent from its conception of suicide; the hara-kiri 
is not a cowardly escape from the burdens of life, it is 
rather a supreme effort to concentrate all the powers of 
personality towards the righting of a wrong, or the 
achievement of a high purpose, which no other sacrifice 
would attain. Nor is Buddhism itself in any sense nihil- 
istic, as is so often supposed. The goal of Nirvana is not 
a negative — self-annihilation — but a positive ideal, 
"life made glorious by self-conquest and exalted by 
boundless love and wisdom/' The preponderance of ill is 
admitted, but there is no utter despair of redemption 
from care and suffering: the diligent development of 
right thought, the acquisition of that high training which 
enables the mind to extricate itself from vulgar error and 
to share the serene peace of impersonal vision — that is 
the way of salvation. Such tendencies of mind as these 
cannot indeed be branded as dangerous by simply stamp- 
ing them with the mark "pessimism." 

It is said that the Orient is despotic. And yet nowhere 
are governmental functions more circumscribed than in 
countries like China. Orifiptnl Hetpotinm doom not mgaa 
constant governm ental interf erence. The despot is , in- 

tO awf. wnnfa^jy fs\ fhft gonoral Aii ? +^m fl ftf frfa rPfllm, {yw 



ASIATIC UNITY 



25 



f|JQ Awn flinrf/wnnry mithnrity dpppn% It is the people 

who through continued action make the customs, and 
they are little interfered with in the management of their 

affairs. TCypn whan Thin* h*A nn pftrlmmpnt, fat ft^iftl 

nrgnniifttiirn ttwt thtrr^Mghly rtft nvftmtiT' NoristheOri- 
ent subject to the tyranny of a vast industrial mechanism, 
impersonal and inexorable. Its industries are carried on . 
in the family home, and form part of the family life; the 
joy of work has not departed, for the workman does not 
toil in a dreary prison-house, and the soul has not been 
taken out of his work. As the object of his labor grows 
under his hand, he rejoices in the perfection of form, and 
to the satisfaction of the artisan is added the delight of 
the artist. Thus it is that in the Orient art with all the 
joy of beauty that it brings has not gone out of the life of 
the people, has not become an exclusive and artificial 
language understood only by the few, a minister to lux* 
ury and indolent ease. It has retained its true function 
of pervading all human life with a subtle aroma of 
refinement and joy. 

In ideals such as these it would be difficult to discover 
the rampant and infuriate dragon of the yellow peril 

imagination. Indeed^* tomppr nf Oriental niviligof inn 
[a pr^TT^nfjntiV pott^f"! Qiiim. fr^g impRrtpd hpr r^vili- 

gation to all the peoples of the Far East r but flh^haa 
JfYfflr frM<(Fffnptod tn i™pfrfl? h?r ml* upon th fiTn ty ^n. 
quest; and of Buddhism alone of all great religions can it 
be said that it never carried on a propaganda with the 



26 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

sword. The great peoples of the plains of India and China 
have been too peaceful to resist invasions, but they have 
been strong and patient enough to subdue the victors 
to their own civilisation. The conquering hordes of 
Asia have come not from the civilised plains, but from 
the rude and inhospitable mountain haunts of Turkestan 
and Mongolia. At their hands peaceful Asia has suffered 
even more than turbulent Europe, and Japan alone has 
never been forced to bow before a victorious foe. 

If the Orient is allowed more fully to realise these in- 
herent tendencies of its spirit, and to develop along its 
own natural lines, in a life of peace and artistic industry, 
true humanity should rejoice, for its purposes would be 
accomplished. Tfr A W"+y nf all hnirm Iffaj tH h^thcE: 
hood of man f is the essential do ctrine o f the moRt potent 
religion o f the East. Only if diverted from these ideals 
by continued injustice and aggression, by a rude attempt 
to subject these ancient societies to an alien law of life, 
could the spirit of the Orient be led to assume a threat- 
ening and destructive attitude. 

It is but a short time since the broader and more rep- 
resentative minds among the Asiatic races have begun 
to realise the unity of Asiatic civilization. The endless 
variety in speech and custom, the difference in charac- 
ter and temper between the Chinese and the Hindu, the 
opposite political destiny that has made one nation sub- 
ject to foreigners while it has led another into an hon- 
ored position among the independent Powers — all 



ASIATIC UNITY 27 

these differences can no longer obscure the deep unity 
of customs and of ideals that pervades the entire Orient. 
This unified character of Oriental life, in its essence so 
totally different from Western civilization, frequently 
expresses itself on the surface in customs and institutions 
which seem to us bizarre and even barbarous, and which 
invite the active reformer from the West to sweep them 
away and put in their place a more enlightened system. 
But whoever considers carefully the conditions of the 
Orient may arrive at a very different conclusion, and 
may see even in these apparently backward institutions 
the marks of a broad and noble ideal of life. The vast- 
ness of Oriental populations, the long duration of their 
institutions, create a feeling of permanence and peace. 
The frequency of natural catastrophes, the overpowering 
aspect of mountains, torrents, and typhoons, have 
given the Orientals an entirely deferential attitude to- 
wards nature, which they have not tried to conquer or 
subdue. Busied rather with the causes of things and with 

phjlnaftpfry, and gayft but l* fflp *+.i«n+.iftn ** prft/>f,jffi1 

facts, to sci enti fic control of the forces of nature T and to 
tilft hf l:f - Arm<mfnf Qnpiftl ™™dfcrnnfl,_ The pessimistic tinge 
of Oriental thought is due to this feeling of helplessness, 
which causes the world and existence to appear as a great 
procession of shadows, full of suffering and evil. But in 
all this impermanence, in the multitude of fleeting and 
ephemeral individual existences, the Oriental mind sees 



28 



CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 



1 



fhAjp<mifAg».»*inn of yi QnHpprftHPnt force — eternal 
change, symbolized by the figure of the dragon. The 

deepest, feelinfl in Oriental thought in the po etry of van. 

iflhinqr life. The withered rose, whose fragrance has de- 
lighted us for a day, is but the symbol of the maiden's 
beauty and the grace and activity of the young warrior, 
who also fade and fall after a brief span, their places 
taken by a new array of budding spirits. 

Thft JrtHlfTtiHfll hn n/ * ™*""h nnitaa tiu> fi"W.aij 

Nyt wifewpr*** jffl d^p^^ ^"^ {a ^n^hiim Resting 
upon the same philosophical foundation as Brahman- 
ism, it really constitutes the missionary principle of the 
great Indian religion, through which the Farther Indies, 
China, and even the distant islands of Japan, were 
brought into touch with the original seat of Oriental 
thought and culture. The poetry of Oriental thought 
finds its most potent expression in the philosophy of eter- 
nal change and final annihilation of all sensible existence, 
taught by Gotama. This Asiatic religion of poetic in- 
qjght ia fh<> oTproaginn nf ftupfr hjpftpr ideal to which all 

the_activiti es and ideals of Oriental life are tributar y' — 
s earch for the universal prin ciple, together T *" f h entilem 
YWfefr in fodiviHiiftl ftrifit?Tiff> Thus the rural locality 
to the tm\ eentre, of A siatic life . There is nothing like the 
European centralization of authority and culture. Local 

jgelf-gnvArnment.j with lit. tip \r\t*rtevt>T\na Ky tho nonfajQ 

not reduce d to se t form nor modified fay isonscious-legifl^ 



ASIATIC UNITY 



29 



u such is the frame work pf OHpntal po]jfty. In 
China ., t he village flovprng ifaplf p while the Imperial Gov- 
ernment fills the function of a counselor and defender. 
T P(l n fftry iff fliniflarl v decentralized : it is carried on in the 
homes of the artisans, where labor is not a curse, but a 
natural activity and manifestation of daily life, graced by 
the artistic character which pervades all Oriental hand- 
icraft. High respect is everywhere paid to intellectual 
forces, not only in the lands of the Brahman and man- 
darin, but in the more militant Japan. Practical religion 

ip jpmlp, np partly nf an irWligftfmn unrft worship of thft 

all-encompassing fo "^ nf nft+"«> J parfiy of ft filing pf 
l oyalty to the spiri fa nf t-h^ MMrf/w j whoa* thought* 
and w o rk aro em b o died in the life and spirit of the nation 
tcbd&y. 

Of this vast and ancient civilization, Japanese life is 
the flower and concentrated essence. The foundation 
stock of the Japanese nation was animated by the no- 
mad instincts of western Asia, by the fierce courage of 
marauding tribes. Thft oriprjpftl Haair of fopir natioTmj 

liffl lfl a v niH »^T M tH p**+- ""* nf n»faip>. Their temples 
commemorate the lives of heroes, but their festal days 
are not the anniversaries of battles; they mark the birth 
of flowers. In April, the multitudes begin their fond 
pilgrimages to see the blossoming cherry trees, languid 
summer brings the nymph-like lotus, and late in fall the 
gorgeous chrysanthemum draws its crowds of worshipers 
from village and town. These earlier romantic and war- 



30 



CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 



! %fi ip"*-"" 1 *" ko™> H?^ ff^Hrel **"* steadied by the 
social morality of Confucius, bestowed upon Japan bv 

fhft Things ^fttiftP, that gre fit niviligpr of wnHJiPra Aaia 

This syBtem is often characterised as a congeries of mere 
platitudes; yet it has constituted an invaluable training 
in the simple and homely duties of neighborly life and in 
practical morality, a training necessary to the Orientals, 
who are so idealistic, and so prone to overlook the near 
for the distant and mysterious. Coming last among all 
these influences, the poetical religion of Buddhism 
found the Japanese soul an especially responsive medi- 
um. The fleeting shadows of existence, lovely in their 
rapid succession and tragic death, the mystery of the 
soul, in which the memories of the past existence are 
reechoing — these were the forms of thought evoked 
by the great Asiatic religion in Japan. The flower of 
all these civilizing influences — Japanese art — was 
acquired from, and based upon, continental forms, and 
even now it best shows the historical development of the 
latter. Indeed, the genesis and progress of Oriental art 
can be studied in its completeness only in Japan, where 
the treasures of the past have not been at the mercy of 
succeeding waves of ruthless conquerors. ButihaAaiatia. 

delicacy w hen th^y rfift^H ttl p Tg1 * n ^ Kingdom. Th e 
lo vely backiyoun dof a t^t^t n *vturft» fin inn*"™ *** ™*r\A 
that is am elodious orchestra tQlhe_paetical drama of hu- 
_man existenceJihfe^B pirit ohodowings of ft 



ASIATIC UNITY 



31 



high hero i«m r th* ready self-ft ftflificft ftf lifwri 18 ! 1 ! vnm 
and women, the delicate respect paid to the weak and 

Old, the w orship of hftrpjfl viri.iift, flare Jftp«mAflA *rfr ft 
multitude °f SUbjftfitff * n whifih in rPftligft iia mntrf. ported 

^expression , 

Tn iia poflOAgA in Japan ; RiirlHhiaTn nnnWurani * Bfltf 

^ Tnp p^fiTn r ntft l o h a n goj ifri pmrnminm wnn n o ftna s rt 
*n^ ffifleiv oH ft HaHaaja ftrfiflHn ijpgft The insight into 

the deep mysteries of life which it affords has, with the 
Japanese, strengthened serious purpose and transfused 
the soul with pulsations of heroism. The tragic ™oori '« 
jhe mood of gwn^iwff— Greek power and intellectual 
predominance declined with the tragedy, and our own 
England never furnished a higher revelation of spirited 
and energetic national life than when Shakespeare con- 
jured up the tempests of the soul. Thus the undercurrent 
of Buddhist tragedy in Japanese life has not resulted in a 
debilitating pessimism, but constitutes a tonic inspiration 
to great deeds and to disdain for the petty and mean in- 
cidents of a mere bourgeois existence. While in southern 
Asia vast populations have settled down to dreamy in- 
activity, thereto encouraged by the Buddhist belief in 
the nothingness of all existence, the spirit of Japan cre- 
ated a different interpretation of this deepest of Asiatic 
religions. Like her great English counterpart, Japan has 
assimilative talent of the highest order. The intensity 
of her national life has enabled her to mould all the influ- 
ences to which she has been subjected into a harmonious 



/ • 



32 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

organic whole. This is chiefly due to the training she has 
always given herself in loyalty and social cohesion. These 
qualities have been put to a most decisive test in the last 
twenty-five years. While an unprecedented social change 
was going on, and while the entire mechanism of West- 
ern industrial life was being rapidly adopted, thft 1p*Hprg 
in thjnj pfl T nnrnt wsrs animat nti with Hn i l l i in m il l u 
cop y_Westeni fiitniimriirnn, hut f^ oflflitniiQf^ ^nfle 

meth ods i yh\oh wnnlH renrW t.hpm uhlp tn HpfpnH ffrpjr 

Qwn cjyilfo *tit}\\ ftgRingf nppnpp«nn ™» 'ifmrpfttittTi by thf 
better anq fid tiojiinnq nf thp wnrlrj^ No other hypothesis 
is possible, because it is unthinkable that a nation should 
give up its essential customs and beliefs, and still retain 
a unified and energetic national life. Thus, while the 
Japanese have learned our methods and have success- 
fully analysed our system, they have remained loyal to 
the spirit of their own historic past. As the Western 
nations are becoming aware of this permanence of Asi- 
atic ideals, they are beginning to be apprehensive of 
the motives of the new Power which has thus risen, and 
which must be counted with in any policy that would 
affect the destiny of the Orient. 

More even than the ancient Greeks, the Japanese wor- 
ship their native country. Wherever nature has created 
a beautiful landscape, a temple is erected, to which the 
people take frequent pilgrimages; and in their mind the 
country, with its noble forests and mountains, its peace- 
ful lakes, its delicate, silvery atmosphere, has become 



ASIATIC UNITY 33 

the chief object of worship, towards which they feel a 
loyalty and attachment unequaled anywhere else in the 
world. But though the ssthetio element is so promin- 
ent in the feelings of the Japanese, though the soldiers 
pick flowers and write graceful poetry in their moments 
of leisure, they also fight with the fury of berserkers when 
they feel the home of their national life in any way en- 
dangered. It is then that the individual passes beyond 
himself! and* animated by a sacred frenzy, in which the 
whole complex race and ancestor experience suddenly 
flashes up into consciousness, his moral nature expands, 
and he is armed with the spiritual strength of numberless 
generations. The courage of the Japanese has no tra ce 
of fatalism, nor has it the sto lid , dng gpif* ff> fl f]micmncKi ^f 
the barb^ ri^f * te lrrmifftiH* *frr? ; if? ulrin to thf arditr 
oLgeoius^ 

When Japan was fighting for her life against a Euro- 
pean autocracy, it was a perfectly natural and honorable 
ambition to arouse the peoples of Asia to a feeling of the 
value of their civilization and of the solidarity of their 
interests. We naturally ask ourselves the question 
whether, considering the character of this civilization, 
we have reason to fear its purposes. Yet, as represented 
by the great nations that are its true exponents, its first 
characteristic is peacefulness. China has given her civ- 
ilization to the nations that surround her on all sides, 
without any desire to conquer them or to exploit their 
wealth. The soldier is distinctly subordinate to the man 



34 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

of peace in her national ideals. India herself , while torn 
by the most terrible internal dissensions, had essentially 
a policy and philosophy of peace; her woes, like those 
which have periodically overtaken China, being due to 
the lack of effective resistance which invited the foreign 
invader and conqueror. Japan, with all the wartfe* 
spirit in her blood, has still set the idenln flf prfwr f\\rwr 
those of war, as is seen in her national fe «tiYRK ftnf * ' m 
the temper of her artistic and social li fe. T he civilisa - 
tion s of the Orient are essentially sedentary . They cling 
to the soil of their birth with many tenacious roots. The 
sacredness of the fatherland, the worship of the ances- 
tors, the reverence of their tombs, are all forces of strong 
attachment. When we consider such fundamental ideas 
and customs of Asiatic civilisation, we cannot escape the 
conclusion that, should Asia be allowed to develop along 
natural lines, she could never become a menace to our 
civilization. 

As a matter of fact, no more fantastic idea has ever 
played a part in serious politics than that of the military 
"yellow peril." We need not consider the natural barri- 
ers erected against such an invasion, nor the fact that in 
the methods of modern warfare the defensive is relatively 
far stronger than the attack; but there is in present 
Oriental conditions and ideas not a vestige that can 
justly be used as a basis for alarmist prophecies. Neither 
China, India, nor Japan has ever engaged in offensive 
warfare of conquest; even the last great war was practi- 



ASIATIC UNITY 35 

cally forced upon Japan by the Russian advance. India 
and China have themselves suffered at the hands of the 
Asiatic hordes, at the memory of which the nations of 
Europe are still trembling; and it is one of the glories of 
Japan to have successfully repelled these invaders, who 
again and again overran the rich countries of the Contin- 
ent. There is nn j|Tftprp««ih1p r»nnflip+ hr+nrnnn Ow»nfjJ 

and West* ™ fijviligAtinn. On the contrary, they are, 
complementary to each other, not necessarily compe t- 
itiv e. During the last century our own civilization, torn 
by internal conflicts and troubled by uncertainties, has 
sought for broader views in Oriental thought; Japan- 
ese art has shown our artists a new way of beauty, in 
which, by painting light in all its splendid manifesta- 
tions, enchanting vistas of artistic possibilities have 
been opened up. The monistic thought of Oriental philo- 
sophy has been more and more approached and assimi- 
lated by our scientific system. Only narrow-mindedness 
can see in this civilization a danger which we must 
subdue; only ignorance can consider it as worthless and 
vicious. 

Thus far the ideas of Asiatic unity have been vague 
and conflicting; the Orient has not possessed that definite 
stock of common concepts and ideals which constitute 
the psychological unity of Europe. And hence, also, the 
conventional and vulgar antithesis of Orient and the 
West, with its sharp delineation of contrasts, has been al- 
together misleading. As the perception of a certain unity 



36 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

of Oriental development becomes clearer, and as the his- 
toric sense is strengthened through the rise of a strong 
political entity in Japan, we may look for powerful con- 
scious efforts to realise an Oriental unity of spirit and 
civilization. But when we examine the chief elements 
upon which such a unity would have to be founded, were 
it to take as its basis the historic facts of Asiatic life, we 
can, after all, find in them no strident conflict with our 
ideals. Marked differences, indeed, exist in customs, 
traditions, and social policies, but the underlying unity 
of the consciousness of mankind manifests itself in no 
less striking a manner. 

N othin g JodwJi vouches q ft mnrh fr» tV i l! t ;wifl f)fr 
unity of the human race as the fact that the iyost ch ar- 
acteristic expressions of Asiatic thought are not utterly 
a lien to us, but on the contr ary prrawfaiiy »/mnfi th^ 
most secret heartstr ings find a ppeal to our deepest emo - 
liongr-This is, of course, not surprising when we go back 
to the Aryan background of Indian civilization. The 
images and ideas of the Vedic age find a ready response 
in our poetic experience; Indra, Varuna, and the Goddess 
of Dawn appear familiar figures. What could be more 
deeply touching than the solemn words of the Vedic 
funeral rite: "Go thou, deceased, to this earth which 
is a mother, and spacious and kind. May her touch be 
soft like that of wool or a young woman, and may she 
protect thee from the depths of destruction. Rise above 
him, O Earth! do not press painfully on him; give 



ASIATIC UNITY 37 

him good things, give him consolation. As a mother 
covers her child with her cloth, do thou cover him." 

But even the expressions of later ages and of more dis- 
tant races do not leave us untouched, — especially the 
deep poetry of natural beauty and of intimate soul-life 
inspired by Buddhism. The Japanese Chomei, whose 
fame rests chiefly on the description of his tiny cabin in 
the mountain forest, gives us glimpses of nature that are 
Hunting when we remember the blindness of European 
literature to natural beauty until some one hundred 
years ago. "Here in spring there may be seen the rip- 
pling blossoms of the wisteria, shedding a fragrance 
towards the west. In summer the hototogisu is heard, 
who by his reiterated cry invites to a tryst with him on 
that rugged path which leads to Hades. In autumn the 
song of the cicada fills the ears, sounding like a wail over 
the vanities of this earthly existence. In winter the 
snow excites in me a compassionate emotion. Aait grows 
deeper and deeper, and then by degrees melts away 
again, it is an apt symbol of the obstruction of sin. When 
on a calm night the moon shines in at my window, I think 
with yearning of the men of old. The fireflies in the 
clumps of herbage represent to me the fisherman's cres- 
sets on the isle of Magi no Shima; the rain at daybreak 
sounds to me like leaves when fluttered by a stormy gust 
of wind. When I hear the copper pheasant with his cry 
of horo, horo, I wonder whether it is the spirit of my father 
or my mother. When the stag from the mountain-top 



38 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

approaches without shyness, I realize how far I am sepa- 
rated from the world. 1 ' Nor is Chinese literature lees 
responsive to the beauty of the external world, and al- 
though it may not contain quite such delicate spiritual 
overtones, it sees in the play and the varying moods of 
nature but an emblem of the vicissitudes of human life. 1 
Thus Ou-yang Hsiu writes, about the year 1050: "The 
sun's rays peeping at dawn through the trees, by and by 
to be obscured behind gathering clouds, leaving naught 
but gloom around, give to this spot the alternations of 
morning and night. The wild flowers exhaling their per- 
fume from the darkness of some shady dell, the luxuriant 
foliage of the dense forest of beautiful trees, the clear 
frosty wind, and the naked boulders of the lessening 
torrent, — these are the indications of spring, summer, 
autumn, and winter. 11 And speaking of the sad hour of 
autumnal death: "Still, what is this to plants and trees, 
which fade away in their due season? . . . But stay, 
there is man, man the divinest of all things. A hundred 
cares wreck his heart, countless anxieties trace their 
wrinkles on his brow, until his inmost self is bowed be- 
neath the burden of life. And swifter still he hurries to 
decay when vainly striving to attain the unattainable, or 
grieving over his ignorance of that which can never be 
known." 

1 Eckennann reports the following conversation with Goethe 
concerning a Chinese novel which the poet had read: Eckennann 
said, ' ' It must have appeared very curious and strange " ; to which 
Goethe replied, ' ' Not so much as one would suppose. The people 



ASIATIC UNITY 39 

But even the favorite words of Buddhist devotion, 
uttered to-day by hundreds of thousands as they place 
their gifts of fresh flowers before the image of the Great 
Teacher, — a meditation rather than a prayer, for there 
are no gods to invoke in pure Buddhism, — even this has 
not an utterly alien sound to us, "These flowers I 
offer in memory of Him, the Lord, the Holy One, the 
Supremely Enlightened Buddha, even as the Enlightened 
Ones in ages past, the Saints and Holy of all times have 
offered. Now are these flowers fair of form, glorious in 
color, sweet of scent. Yet soon will all have passed away 
— withered their fair form, faded the bright hues, and 
foul the flowers' scent! Thus even is it with all corn- 
think, act, and feel almost entirely as we do, and very soon we be- 
come familiar with their point of view; although with them every- 
thing is clearer, calmer, and more moral. In their arrangements 
everything is sensible, bourgeois, without great passion or poetical 
inspiration, and so is very similar to my Hermann and Dorothea, as 
weH as to the English novels of Richardson. There is, however, a 
difference, in that with them external nature is always seen by the 
side of the human figures. We hear the goldfishes splash in the 
ponds. The birds in the trees are singing all the time, the day is 
ever serene and sunny, the night clear. There is much talk of the 
moon, but it does not change the landscape: its light seems to be 
thought of as bright as the day itself. The interior of houses is 
neat and graceful as their pictures. There are innumerable legends 
which accompany the stories and are used almost after the manner 
of a proverb. So we hear of the maiden who was so graceful and so 
light on her feet that she could balance herself on a flower; or of a 
young man who was so straightforward and good that when he was 
only thirty years of age the Emperor spoke to him. So there are 
volumes of legends which deal with what is moral and proper. It is 
through this strict moderation in everything that the Chinese 
Empire has been able to maintain itself for thousands of years." 



40 



CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 



ponent things: Impermanent, and full of Sorrow and 
Unreal. — Realizing this, may we attain unto that 
peace which is beyond all life!" 

ma unity* it hoa /wnmnn jrWIa 

t these are not things apar t; they 



CHAPTER H 

ENBBGISM IN THE ORIENT 

H 

The ethical conceptions of Oriental peoples are as 
manifold as their conditions of life; and yet, in the com- 
mon thought of the Western world, the ethical temper 
of the East is quite different from that of our civilization. 
When standards of conduct are discussed between differ- 
ent nations, it is difficult to avoid misunderstanding, 
because each nation or race, having its own social conven- 
tions, which to it have become second nature, sees in the 
conventions of other peoples compromises with truth if 
not a complete departure therefrom. Thus when the East 
and the West mutually compare their moral beliefs and 
modes of action, there is apt to be revealed a lack of sym- 
pathetic insight. Yet the ethical thought of India, traced 
to its simple Aryan sources, inculcates the same cardinal 
virtues which are contained also in our Western codes. 
Purity, benevolence, and truthfulness are as important 
there as in our morality. Quite contrary to the common 
belief in the West, the appreciation of veracity is just as 
constantly and urgently held up as a fundamental virtue 
as in our own ethical literature. Nor are the knightly 
virtues of courage and firmness neglected in these earlier 
Indian models of conduct. 



42 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

But as Indian civilization developed in complexity, 
through modifications introduced by conquest and 
through the growth of the caste system, moral doctrine 
lost its primitive simplicity. It was divided into parts, 
many secondary elements were added, and there was a 
new distribution of emphasis. Tn th* fir^] fomiU. f h* Aqp r 
trine of renunciation overshadows everything else. Indian 
ethical «pfl tilP flnf nf Mflr ftg ffi favors the abdication of 

_ftvtfa nf rTiitongft It is a creed of inactivity, contempla - 
tion, quieti gnn, ftflfl qfilf-p n pp ra< ^ ; ^n The repeated con- 
quests of India, the overpowering forces of nature, the 
absence of national self-consciousness, have all helped to 
emphasize these characteristics. They are present, not 
only in Hinduism, but in other forms of belief, like Bud- 
dhism and Jainism, that have originated in India. But 
our own generation is witnessing in India a great stirring 
of social life, the awakening of new national forces. The 
ancient texts are read from a new point of view and in a 
different temper, and it is discovered that the morality 
of non-action and submission is only one part of a com- 
plex system; that there are other more active and more 
manly virtues inculcated as well. It is these latter that 
now receive the emphasis. The achievements of nation- 
alism in Japan are having their effect; and though Japan 
may lately have alienated sympathy through her forward 
policy in Manchuria, the energy revealed in her national 
life remains a model to the rest of Asia. 



ENERGISM IN THE ORIENT 43 

The searching of the national spirit in Indian tradi- 
tion have brought out the fact that Hindu morality, 
side by side with mukti, bairagnya, or renunciation, con- 
tains the ideal of action in ci/iarma. While the former has 
for centuries been emphasised through the repression 
which history has imposed on India, the more vigorous 
forces of life have not been extinguished and will now 
seek new expression with the help of the principle of 
dharma which is embodied in Karma Yoga. This does not 
mean that the national ideal of renunciation as the high- 
est quality and virtue is to be abandoned. £hi the con- 
trary, the low valuation of the material universe and t he 
proud belief in the conquering force of spirituality whic h 
i t contains will re^ ftjp thff ^^tiftl P ftrt of the India n 

ivynfyptmn nf hnman ^Afltiny §u\<\ *M?tiO n But it is also 

recognized that this idea of renunciation has been falsely 
understood and grievously misinterpreted in the past; 
that it has been a cloak for laziness and torpidity, under 
which it has been attempted to make the most pitiful 
weakness appear as strength. To the Indian mind at 
present, renunciation in its true sense appeals only as a 
higher form of dharma. Before one may reject, one ought 
to understand; before renouncing, one ought to have ex- 
perienced; before yielding to the greater, one ought to 
have mastered the lesser. Thus renunci ation, to be more 

than w eftl rflftgfl * nr * aAlfwIpnApiimi , prftBiippnflftg q mnqf^r y 
Of the WOrlfl Of fact ftTlri fu>tirm } «nH if mqnimn f hn pftnr or 
tO rise SUPerior tO ^rdJP^T flfTni nff 1ofl OTU * flmhitirmc 



44 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 



Through mental energy and nnderfltftnrling of the world 
only can w h pnAfltery he a^uirefi. RemmciaiknLJiuifit 
be strength, not wea kness. InthewordsofVivekananda, 
mukti is far superior to dharma, but dharma must be 
finished first of all. This eloquent writer and preacher, 
whose thought is one of the most important influences 
in the awakening of Indian life, has expressed this transi- 
tion in ethical temper with great effectiveness. In his 
view, that society is the greatest where the highest truths 
become practical or embodied in action. Like the Chinese 
Wang Yang Ming, he was, therefore, a pragma t is t before 
William James. He strives for power and energy; and 
prays, "Thou Mother of Strength, take away my un- 
manliness and make me man. 11 

Of all the religious books in India, that which is at pre- 
sent most frequently appealed to and most diligently 
studied, the Bhagavad Gita, is eloquent in inculcating the 
morality of action together with the ideal of renuncia- 
tion. The Gita says, "Be more manly; destroy your 
enemies and enjoy the world. It is for heroes only to en- 
joy the world. Rise and obtain name and fame by con- 
quering your enemies." As has often been pointed out by 
Orientals, the Christian nations, in active life, far from 
following the injunctions of their Master as to forbear- 
ance and gentleness, seem to be guided rather by the 
principles of the Gita. Whereas the Hindus on their part 
had for a while forgotten these stirring injunctions and 
had lost themselves entirely in a weak interpretation of 



ENERGISM IN THE ORIENT 45 

the doctrine of mukti, without remembering that re- 
nunciation cannot begin before power has fully proved 
and asserted itself. 

The Bhagw yyi fl% en*? JirmAa n*a+* mnmltf y , Theposi- 

he must "Hya t^ g™? 1 "Better is one's dharma 9 
though destitute of merits, than the well-executed dharma 
of another. He who doeth the karma laid down by his 
own nature incurreth no sin." It is the same idea of the 
relativity of virtues to the position of a man that we find 
in Plato's Republic. The specia l vi rtues r eq uired of th e 
tjnT T_ji1nmrir cant on of H ii il iiii m i i i j miuiu i i i j uml l ii ml 
holders, a y e dwft lf m m g rnnf HntAU » ^ 11 nthe^lAfl ^ arP 
ftampiftd acta in the nat ure of w rviftft, with a mrrft«pnnri« 
inp^ Inwflpftflg anH humility nf ormAnot,. Vivekananda 

complains that the august virtues of the higher castes 
are no longer practiced, but that the whole nation has 
adopted servile ways, singing everywhere without end 
in weak abandonment, "As the water on the lotus leaf 
is thin and trembling, so unsteady is the life of man." 
The heroic, both in action and in renunciation, has be- 
come rare. Nietzsche would say that the Indian nation 
has adopted slave habits and has forgotten its master 
morality. The Gita itself says, "Then I shall destroy 
all caste distinctions and thus ruin all these people " ; 
and Vivekananda exclaims, " Buddha ruined us as Christ 
ruined the Romans," laying India's downfall to the aban- 
donment of the heroic caste virtues. It is remarkable that 



46 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

a man like Vivekananda, who fought against the arti- 
ficial restrictions of the caste system, should yet see in 
this relativity of moral precepts, including the prescrip- 
tion of heroic virtues for the higher classes, the saving 
principle. But he evidently despairs of raising the vast 
masses of the Indian population to the plane of energism 
in morality; he feels that if the leaders of social life in 
India were inspired by these ideals, it would be sufficient. 
While abandoning the external accessories of caste, ad- 
vancing Indian thought is, therefore, inclined to retain 
some of its essentials. I shall refer again later to this very 
important fact, which involves a question as to whether 
a unified morality is possible for the entire human race 
in the Orient or whether we must accept the principle 
of relative duties and virtues. 

ThUS Hinduism iS hftftnT^ng figy ™"™ in fh^ panoa *c 

seeing gre» ter_virtiift ' m ^tinn *nH hAmg mnpiroH m*h 
ideals of positive achievement y* PTflfl™^ * In speak- 
ing for this ideal in her brilliant little pamphlet on 
"Aggressive Hinduism," Sister Nivedita shows her 
grasp of the essentials that make up Western national 
energism. She knows what the historic sense has done 
for the West, and demands that the " history of India, 

1 Mr. S. Nihal Singh, in his essay on "The Spirit of Maya leav- 
ing Hindustan/' in Glimpses of the Orient To-day (1910), says, 

To-day a different philosophy is moving India's masses. It con- 
cerns itself with Here and Now, and relegates the Hereafter to the 
background. It develops material life along with the advancement 
of the spirit. 19 



tt 



ENERGISM IN THE ORIENT 



47 



which has yet to be written for the first time, should be 
humanised, emotionalized, made the trumpet voice and 
evangel of the races that inhabit India." She also says 



t hat Indian life must seek e xpression in nationalism, 

must ma kg Hself fltlT^gfy w»+.iqn«l before it. osm fake fa 

Dftrt r 1 * ' h * ft,n 1Sf * "* * h ~ ™»"* A Many Hindus are in- 
clined to believe that political salvation is to be found 
in the idea of a world state, but in the view of this elo- 
quent writer "only the tree that is firm rooted in its own 
soil can offer us a perfect crown of leaf and blossom." 

FTnwftyA^ the wrifpra Anr} thinlrpra nf new Tndift agree 

f hlA ftbft v f * 1] + h "Y mi1nf fihpifoh tfbftt national idea l 
which exp feaae* \ff»\ t in spirituality. In in tellectual and 
spiritual force they see the highest energy, and so r e- 
nunciation , tmlv interpreted, ia f After aII, the highest, vir- 

tme. "Concentration, calmness, and inactivity are the 
result of centralization of great powers — calmness is the 
mother of tremendous energy," these words of Vive- 
kananda express that valuation which sets intellectual 
activity high above all mechanical contrivance, which 

appreciates that, Hy the aide nf the thpnght-enerpr y of th e 

tomBTl mind sighing oloc b inoignifiomt . T his is the 
greatest paradox in philosophy, that the West, where man 
first became conscious of his powers, where he learned to 
master the forces of nature before which the Oriental 
peoples bowed down in awe, should invariably have to 
yield to the Orient in fully appreciating the intense power 
of that very human mind and its activity. 



48 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

It is here that Hinduism and Buddhism converge. In 
both, spiritual force is most highly valued, most intensely 
striven after. But as the Buddhist belief swept away the 
whole fabric of caste distinction and assumed a position 
of utter unworldliness, it has always seemed to be the 
religion of renunciation carried to its greatest possible 
extreme. The concept of unending change is the essenc e 
of Bu ddhism as it is the essence o f all OrientdJhfillghL 
and poetry^Jiiis proves how true, after all, an expression 
of the real spirit of the Orient is to be found in Buddhism. 
Where nothing is stable, where all life flows past the be- 
holder like a stream, where all things of beauty fade and 
all things of force decay, there everything invites to that 
quiet abdication which always has a pessimistic tinge. 
Now the West has arrived at a similar position in its 
interpretation of the universe. B oth the principle of 
evolution and the electric the ory of m atter are not only 
consonant with Buddhism, but are to a certa in extent 
a nticipated by its though^ . A realization of this truth 
will make it plain that in its real and deeper meaning, 
Buddhism is neither nihilistic nor pessimistic; that it is a 
superficial view to think that Buddhism erects self-anni- 
hilation into an ideal, sees no value in action, and 
preaches the prone acceptance of all evil as inevitable. 
If this were true, Buddhism could never have been a re- 
ligion of salvation to millions, it would have ceased to 
exist long ago. It is also a significant fact that the great 
energist philosopher, Schopenhauer, stands in the closest 



ENERGISM IN THE ORIENT 49 

relationship to Buddhism. He is for this condemned by 
his dissident pupil Nietzsche; but if this brilliant aphor- 
ist had lived to see the present development of energism 
in the Orient, he might have looked even upon Buddhism 
from a different point of view. 
A s a matter o f fact, while. Buddhis m is a quietist . 

iwiMUPP^ng, AnntAmplfttJYfl rfrliginn, if. after all haa jfa 
Awpftgf. TT^ffinjnp; axn\ moetst.riking significance fts HX\ K[h 

p-fliifr*"^ flf t h * mmrgy of t.hft h|iw>M ™\ru* Nirvana. 

iofhftjiil^lpRtft ftphiftVAmpnt nf t.hp ftnmp fcte Self-POSSe S- 

gkm and mastery o f TP 1 * 11 ^ g*™*A tfimngh if™ applica- 
tion of thf) mnnt ronomtii \\U il i in rgy hi mentahproeesses 
t hrough gen erations. It is significant that it is this side 
of Buddhism, the side of intellectual energism, which is at 
the present time most insistently dwelt upon by its ablest 
devotees, to the confounding of the notion that Buddhism 
is enervating and reduces to a lower level of life. While 
these energistic implications have always been present 
in Buddhism, it is only now that they are being fully 
appreciated in the Oriental world of thought. 

The Chinese are far less inclined to abstract speculation 
and philosophical ideals than are the peoples of southern 
Asia. They follow a common-sense morality which is 
practical in its categorical precepts and judgments. But 
the tradition al temper, o f the Chine se is also eminently 
pacific and quietist . T he grea t strength of the Chinese 
lies in peaceful resistance; without meeting force by 
f orce,they negative the effects of eg nqu^tand oppression 



50 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

ina manner t hat elicited th« rf^p ftflmirftt.inn nf Tn1«t/w. 
He held up the Chinese as a model to his fellow Russians, 
and called attention to the quiet patience of this vast 
mass of humanity, to their manner of following the rule, 
"Resist not evil/' in not opposing to injustice harsh and 
rebellious measures, but in following the quiet and natu- 
ral remedy of non-action. The Chinese philosopher 
whose thought has been most potent in giving form to 
the quietist ideals of this vast population is Lao-Tze. 
Often called the Epicurus of China, he does indeed re- 
semble the Greek philosopher in the manner in which he 
values reason above all things. In his view, compared 
with reason as working itself out in things and men, self- 
conscious human energy is of no avail. The sage must 
accept the course of nature and adapt himself to it by 
the use and development of his individual reason : " Rea- 
son always practices non-assertion, and yet there is 
nothing that remains undone." While Lao-Tze's ideal 
of non-assertiveness does not mean inactivity, but the 
desire to allow things to develop naturally and not to 
force their growth in an artificial way, such has not been 
the popular understanding of his thought. The merely 
passive elements in his philosophy have been unduly 
emphasized. Virtue and strength have thus been turned 
into weakness, and at present many Chinese hold Taoism 
responsible for that inadequacy of national organization 
and action through which China has suffered numberless 
disadvantages and humiliations. 



ENERGISM IN THE ORIENT 51 

To-day we are witnessing the awakening of this vast 
people to new energies and to a more active conduct of 
affairs. Peaceful China, the land of non-assertion, is 
fast becoming military. The ideal of national energy, 
efficiency, and strength expresses itself in all public 
utterances. Great sacrifices are made for military pre- 
paration, and throughout the provinces even the children 
in the schools are put into uniforms and trained in 
soldierly fashion. The old contempt in which the profes- 
sion of warriors was held in this most rational of coun- 
tries has passed away, as fresh energies are beginning to 
stir. 1 

The literary evangel of this new national faith is found 
in the writings of Wang Yang Ming, the Chinese soldier- 
philosopher, whose value for present-day needs the Jap- 
anese were the first to discover. During the last decade 
he has become the most widely read author of China. 
His general philosophy is alluded to elsewhere in this 
book; here we are concerned with him only as a votary 
of energism. Wang Yang Ming's practical ethics hinge 
upon the theory that thought and knowledge are of little 
value unless translated into action. Adequacy in action 

is, therefore, a test to be applied to ideas of conduct and 

1 The extent of the change which has come over Chinese feeling 
in matters of national strength, is witnessed by the edict on mili- 
tary reform, issued in April, 1911. It opens with the sentence, ' ' We 
are of the opinion that militarism is the first thing necessary to the 
upbuilding and preservation of a nation/' and goes on to recite the 
deeds of valor and military exploits performed by the Manchu 
dynasty. 



52 



CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 



of philosophy. Himself a man of affairs as well as a 
writer, he [could express these thoughts in language 
pulsating with life and stimulating to deeds of valor. 
Among all native writers he has contributed the most 
characteristic element in the present state of Chinese 
public feeling. This seal for action expresses itself also 
in the prevalence of revolutionary sentiments and de- 
sires, which go far beyond anything the old philosopher 
would probably sanction. ^Tlft idfift thnt f™ 1 ? 01M * *" ^ 
b orne, or at most resisted quietly, has largely passed 
a way,juid in its plfl ffi t-* 1 * 1 * h ** ****** + nft Mfc* *hat 
only through po sitive heroic action can the troublesome 
pro blems of natio"°l lifp tv» y^yy 1 , The words of Wang 
Yang Ming are like a trumpet call to modern China. 

Japan is t he tniip apngtfc ^ ^ 0, *gifffr in the Orien t, 
re presenting this tem pe y nflt o nly in ln^ present life but 
also in her traditional prftctioof * She is the one Oriental 



1 In 1910 a leading Japanese review took a vote among promin- 
ent men on the question of who are the greatest moral heroes of 
the world. It is interesting to note that Hideyoshi and Napoleon 
tied for first place; after them followed Bismarck, Washington, 
Iyeyasu, and then Luther, Shokatsu Komei, and Lincoln; Csesar 
and Gladstone came at the end among the first ten. This will in- 
dicate the importance given to military achievement in Japan. In 
commenting upon this matter, Doctor Inouye Tetsujiro said that 
there are only four men who are entitled to be called seijin, or great 
moral heroes: Christ, Socrates, Confucius, and Buddha. All other 
heroes are of coarser fibre. Both of these classes of heroes are 
judged by character as a standard, their work must be an out- 
growth of their character; both display great strength of will. But 
the truly great heroes are spiritual in influence, while the others 
are material. The teachings of the greatest heroes have been turned 



ENERGISM IN THE ORIENT 53 

nation in which military feudalism developed in a man- 
ner almost entirely parallel to that of Europe. The mili- 
tant side of feudalism still constituted the essence of her 
action and ideals as she emerged into the fullness of 
modern life. T he priest and the ph ilQfroph?T n S^ r PF" nft d 

the WAiK^ry ™ -fop*" whinh thgy hmLin.thtt Phinoflft 

jhmI TluliiHi iiynlif inw Though Japan has accepted and is 
harboring both Buddhism and Confucianism, she has 
fused them with her own peculiar forms of thought into a 
distinctive national unity. Undaunted by the contra- 
dictions between these different systems, she has adapted 
them to her eminently positivist temper, and has 
moulded ideas of conduct in which the development and 
expression of human energy hold the central place. From 
the militant ages she has taken over her gentlemanly 
code, bushido, the Way of the Warrior, which inculcates 
loyalty, generosity, bravery, and other virtues that Plato 
and the Hindu classics demand of the governing castes. 
Here the code of the select has not been swamped, as in 
India, in the resigned and servile misery of the masses. 
N<»w Tft pftn ftA« f iiiri rr rij ttttfl m ptrid tn mrtnnd t hn awny 

n f traffttiJftP* 1 mnr ^ prompt a +n oil nloofloo nf * ha papula- 
tion^ bu t tih ft p™M*™ h«° "nf hy «"y tnnnna hnan arAiro A 

as yet, and it ia apparent, thflt. n rwfa marto fnv Irnipn tw 

in a militant age d oe? n pt m^t all thq m nr * ] Hiffipiiitipa 

<* * BHMlrm indu n t rml nonin ty i 

Into weakness by degenerate followers. Therefore, In our age of 
relentless competition, the military and virile virtues of ordinary 
heroes are Decenary. — Japan MaSL 



64 



CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 



T he ethics of Japan are notable, in that suicide itse lf 
is not viewed as reffl fflfr tion r t^t «« »V K, *ghffit ftp^ ™^+ 
emphatic expression of p"^" 1 ^ 1 ^ Under JJh£_code_ of 
bushido^ the feudal ImigH ^ *fcp«"'*«™* f«J» ^° ^ "+y ^ 



loyalty most intensely; should his su perior punnm f 
c ourse of acti on that seemed in i-ftriviftpo* and dn"gi*r?Mfi J 
respectful representa tions m\g\\% fr> ma/fa; Knt. if nn ^p^d 

Were given to such q uj ftt and pnliteaiiggftationa, t.hft loyal 
retainer Still frftd th fi rfAQiirfiA of fnlrinp l i i a »■■. Uf a in 

qjffT fa? *wa1rpn f% conacienqff apH fywl a^ap of jfo 

mggjtfir. In this most powe rful appe al, life itself, with all 
its 



yiU>«'4' 



was rnnmimfid> T hese tendencies still ho ld 
away i" modem Japan; «u,iffifo i« not merely, or princip - 
ally, a i "**"? of Ag/»opin^ fro m a flitiliatinn grown u n- 
hrnrnblr, hut it in r i ft i n tli r m oo t int rn n n fl d f . nn nrr t . infl i 

either §H ft protoat againat. bottip grpaf, Pvi1 f pr ft n flp- 

p eal intend e d to move men to needed actio n. 

This brief review of the contemporary thought of the 
Eastern world will show how far these ancient nations 
have gone in turning to a philosophy of action and en- 
ergy. The manifestations of this spirit will indeed differ 
in many ways from similar tendencies in the West, be- 
cause of certain fundamental distinctions that separate 
external development. Western individualism, with all 
it implies and involves, is still foreign to the Orient. 
When we inquire for the root and source of this promi- 
nence of the individual personality, of this freedom of 
development, we have to go to the classicism of Greece 



ENERGISM IN THE ORIENT 



65 



and Rome. The classic spirit is the spirit of self-limita- 
tion, it implies the power and will to control both our view 
of things and our expression, restraining them within a 
definite orbit and excluding all that is merely curious, 
or horrible, or insane. Thus liberty is born of self-re- 
straint. As a result of this mutual limitation, individu- 
als become conscious of their differences of character and 
of that subtle complex which we call personality. At 
first sight it is strange that it has been exactly this indi- 
vidualistic West that has striven to apply its moral prin- 
ciples to all alike, in other words, that has transfused 
ethics with democracy. Yet when we remember that 
personality is the result of self-restraint, this will seem 
less paradoxical. 

In all these matters important differences exist be- 
tween East and West. We have already seen that as the 



demand for energetic manifestations of human charac ter 
and j H- s q n ari'Pfl m th? Qrmtj it i f f prens tn fippg'd ft ° 

Caste inst fo*^ ^d *n invnlrA thna& An^Aa nf hf|]flvmr 

which rest upon social RpW.tinn. Thifl is t.hft riffipfrti. 
problem involved in the present Oriental transition ' OMn 
a common morality of mankind, applica ble to *H frunmn 
b eings, enjoin those qualities of characte r xx(h\ph Are Ha- 
mftTufaj hy PT^rgisfl iH Aula? Are we to have democracy or 
aristocracy in the realm of morals? Of the three princi- 
pal countries of Asia, China is most truly the home of 
democracy. While democracy was not formally recog- 
as a method of government, the temper of Chinese 



56 



CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 



affairs was such that whatever concerned a community 
was not settled without its consent; though there also 
existed a certain social hierarchy. These democratic sen- 
timents prevail even more fully in the present national 
transition, when the effort is being made to mould the 
forms of the state in accordance with popular ideals, to 
go beyond the superficial parliamentarism of Japan and 
to give the vast empire a system of truly representative 
institutions. It is therefore not surprising that those 
manifestations of energism which we note in contemp- 
orary China assume a thoroughly popular character. 
Participated in by the masses of Chinese humanity, this 
tendency will produce movements responsive to ideals 
that are not exclusive. 

It will be of the greatest interest to watch the unfold- 
ing of the contrast between aristocratic and democratic 
forms of morality in the Far East. Tji Tnriin and Japan 
t fee question ^ flffl foi> pnprgjgm whin.h t.hr nntfonal life 
requires be devel oped withou t recourse to thfiJiiatQrifi. 
codes of the warrior «$&**? AnH if thfflft fiH^ ftr » *«**»■ 
sarv. i s there any wav in which the 
which th ey contain, can be 

sociaLprp^r f 4 ? China, on the other hand, i s confr onted 
with the question whether, without the leadership which 
is so strongly developed in Japan land w h? nVl * a «*-w*™g 
fo r ascendancy in I ndia , the imtimnJ lyg^pratinn n^p 
be carried th rough su cM*»fii11 y. If it should become clear 
that this could not be done, then there may gradually 



ENERGISM IN THE ORIENT 57 

emerge in the morality of China more aristocratic con- 
ceptions. Who would have suspected, a decade or so ago, 
that the great problem of slave and master morality 
would so soon be fought out on the vast theatre of Asi- 
atic civilizations? Here it is really to be decided whether 
the world is to have a human, a universal, code of ethics. 
It is perhaps tru e tha t the thinhdngjaenjoLth^Orient, 

^tfwy fiftmpftrft t.hpir nwn mviligfttinTi with f.fat of 

Europe, feel keenly the lack of in dividua l ism with its 
resultant personal energy. Touched with the fire of ac- 
ti ve ambition, they are seized with the Renai ssance 
spirit. T hey desire that human personality shoukL be 
given full freedom of growth and action . Instinctively 
iey suspect that such a development cannot be hoped 
for if there is only a mass movement; they therefore 
turn to those aristocratic codes which the past has 
born, and hope to get from them that invigoration of 
human personality which national life requires. If the 
Orient is to travel the road of democracy in the Western 
sense, it would seem that it could be reached only through 
the development of individualism, which is often anti- 
democratic in tendency. 

jo now fomP° r nf fKo Fqq * fa™1™" ft wndinnl nhnnflo 
t[ at i tij fn/ * n +™*™»d pl i yi i »1 n«ini>nt pn+inn+ mifwininn mn 

t o nature'sj or^ aH **i*ri*a ia pfrfog way f i* f dwr* 
for mnflteryi -iMtogrthrr the most important intellect- 
ual change which the Orient is undergoing is the ac- 
quisition of that idea of the rule of natural law which 



68 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

was first developed in the West. Tip Jo_rrry roocnt timn, 
the my stic element has been strongest in Oriental life . 
The Orien t ^ would wtffhfir FTTtffin* * nr * interpret than 

itmWon^ » n p Arw, mif 1/wig fj% lif^ f^fi Ve jl pf mys tery 

that ahroudfl rqliginn *nH fnithnrfcy Carrying out the 
idea of Dostojevski's words, "Russia cannot be under- 
stood, she must be believed in/ 9 the Orientals are ready 
to believe in anything that surrounds itself with splen- 
dor and the emblems of authority. Moreover, every as- 
pect of life is viewed as an expression of mystic spiritual 
forces. Spirits are everywhere; the poorest Hindu peas- 
ant constantly feels their immanence; in the beliefs of 
Chinese folklore, air and soil are peopled with genii. The 
Japanese build delicate temples in woodland glades; 
no human being ever enters them; but many gaze rever- 
ently through the latticed windows into the twilight si- 
lence within, where abide divinities and ghosts of noble 
men. The highest and purest expression of this belief is 
found in the hero-worship among Oriental nations, 
especially among the people of India and Japan. The 
great man, the noble character, is held to be a direct im- 
personation of the divine spirit; and to worship him ap- 
pears a most natural thought, ^hus the Orie ntal feels 
himself sur rounded on all sides by s piritual forces, 
whose influences his everyd ay life is moulded ancLhis 
destiny c ontro lled* 

The one important conception which the popular 
Oriental mind lacks is that these mysterious and all- 



ENERGISM IN THE ORIENT 59 

powerful manifestations are themselves governed by a 
fixed norm. The reign of natural law is not a current 
thought among the Oriental masses, who still live under 
a tyranny of capricious spirits. The idea of gradual, 
orderly development according to a universal rule, — 
the cosmos of the physical world, — though comprised 
in their philosophical system, is not familiar to larger 

numbers as it is in the West. This attitude of the Ori- 

 ' ii  »^— — ^ 

ental min d tfQWftfd natural phpnnmpim ia Hiift tn f.wn 

causes: in th e first pl ace, nature in her m anifestations is 
s o overpo w ering as to a we an d s uppres s the spirit of ma n, 
and to prevent hi « ^"ffiiy fog himself $# the nftii fral 

figure , aa tfr fl mlar and Hirftfttnr of all this pnftrgy ; on the 
other hand, the pfrjloRophical min d of the Orient ia so 
much taken UP With thq thinga nf *h* «pip^ thft f 'i ^' 1ft 

i t does construct and dev elop flnrnprehftTmiv e avBtema p f 
cosmogen y and evolution, it does riot study natural 
phenomenajn ffctftil J" 1 ** hy thfk g^p^mffflt* 1 m ethod . 
The develop m e nt nf ft n ftrg i flm wh i fth wr hnvr hrnn trnr 
j^E JjgWftVPr, invttlvftfl a profou nd fth an gft in thft att itude 
of the Oriental mind tow ard natural phenomen a. The 
field in which human talent and energy has so trium- 
phantly manifested itself in the West will not remain 
closed to Oriental experience. Already the Japanese are 
taking a high position in the physical sciences, and in 
India the pressure is enormous to pass from the narrow 
tutelage of the classics, as taught under the British sys- 
tem, to the splendid vistas of modern scientific achieve* 



60 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

ments. The highest ambitions, the profoundest sent i- 
ments Of the Orient are bpiinH up with thft Hftsirft^nnw 

suddenly re vealed, to rival tha Wort in ooientifio mactory , 
and so the spirit twilight jrill nnnn riinappftflr Tn a meas- 
ure, the Orient may repeat the experience of the ancient 
pagan world, as set forth by Shelley when he speaks of 
"the hills, and seas and streams, dispeopled of their 
dreams." 

But if the Orient is to adopt the philosophy of en- 
ergism and active life, it does not, after all, follow that it 
will change its most underlying and essential ideals. It 
has often been said that if the Japanese have made them- 
selves strong by the adoption of Western methods and 
processes, they have done so in order to be able the more 
effectively to protect the treasures of their own ideals 
and civilization. " Make vo urnplf nt.rwg y> that ymi may 
retain the right to be yourself " that B^?mg tft bn th? 
temper, not only of Jnn nn hut aton of China and Tntlin ; 

andjthe /ffi l f «f +*"* Orinnt in ii i iu< j m i ll minnda fa * i» mr*m 
highly. Spiritual. MytAry jwat pyfrArnftl nature inHpf>d f 

a ttracts as part of the r4fli mA nf AWPiytin ^fiiyjf^ but 
to the Orient the spirit of man, the mysteries of _hisj>sy- 
chology, the grandeu r of theTTlrnitlflOT vifltafl ?f develop- 
ment of which the human soul is capable and the height s 
to which it mav attain, are more ff mmimting t.h^n jmjTjrrf 
the phenome na of external physical fixture. It is to 
Orientals a source of great inspiration and enthusiasm 
to think that they are called to give to the world, and to 



V 



ENERGISM IN THE ORIENT 



61 



perpetuate in it, this noble spirituality. They have come 
to recognize the merits of the West, its high individual 
development, its energetic activity, its clean and success- 
ful methods, its complex system of machinery; but they 
also well understand that the human spirit does not al- 
ways come to its own with all this efficiency and outward 
success, that machinery kills souls, that mechanism 
destroys human feeling. When they see the West striving 
to introduce mechanical ideas into the most sublime 
realms of thought, standardizing everything upon the 
basis of computed units of efficiency, they feel that the 
Orient still has a message that will be heard. It is from 
materia lism that they hope to bri ng liberation . The 
manner is not yet clearly seen; b ut as the West glories 
in its efficiency, so does the East dr aw comfort and con- 
fidence from the thought that its spirit" ^HY *ff fr? *** *'h A 
ttftlvfttjnn n f th n world- This destiny it can fulfill only 

if its newly aroused energies are directed to the achieve- 
ment of aims that have a spiritual meaning and value. 



CHAPTER in 

INTELLECTUAL LEADERSHIP IN CONTEMPORARY INDIA 

The histo ric traditions of the eastern half of A sia are 
eminently favorable to the recognition of leaders hip 
Tiased upon intellectual power. BothChina and India, as 
well as the small countries lying between them, have 
given intellectual qualities a unique preeminence in 
their social and political systems. Tfce_wisdom of the 
mandarin or the Brahman , rather than the haughty 
dominance of a feudal noblesse, the prowess of a general, 
or the popularity of a politician, has been, in theory at 
least, the quality upon which these Oriental nations have 



based their reliance in matters of state life. _It is this 
conception of the sovereignty of mind which Plato in- 
terpreted and applied to Greek affairs in the Republic. 
In view of such social ideals, it is natural to expect that 
the men of mind and learning should in these countries 
be identified in a direct manner with the strivings of 
social consciousness, that they should be par excellence 
the representative men of their countries. 

In India, however, the more recent developments of 
social and political life have by no means been favorable 
to the complete and normal evolution of an intellectual 
leadership in direct touch and harmony with other social 



INTELLECTUAL LEADERSHIP 63 

forces. ^Mfcflfliiyrc frmliqin frft? frffftp in+.mHnnfrH iptn Tp- 

d ianlif e — superimposed upon that complex and intri- 
cate web of racial traits, religious beliefs, and social ob- 
servances, that tapis of variegated and irregular design, 
which has come from the loom of Indian history. Every 
conquest, indeed, will produce a more or less permanent 
dualism. In measure as the social consciousness of victor 
and conquered have reached clearness of expression, this 
antagonism will be more pronounced. There may, in- 
deed, be a gradual approach and amalgamation as in the 
case of Rome and Gaul, or of the Alexandrine conquest 
of Asia Minor; but on the other hand, the tendencies of 
the two civilizations may be so dissimilar that a continu- 
ing and apparently irreconcilable disparity results, as 
in Russian Poland and Finland, in Crete, or in the Mo- 
hammedan colonies of France. , Such a p ernnftnAn{, dUff^T 
ism lea ds to a situation that may, from the point of view _ 
of nor mal political conditions, be calle d ypnuftirpl, aa it 
s tands in the way of that spontaneous development of a 
unified nafjfmftl energ y which is the law of normal life iiL~ 

socie ty. 

The Mohammedan con quest had already introduced 
a dualism of this natur e into India, On nearly every 
poi nt of s orinl t m d roligjoua belief the Islam ite- con- 
querors Bf wdp * n d Pnntiniind in ntnnd , ftpflrf frp m th ft 

life of the , HinHn^ Certain adjustments, indeed, were 
made in the course of time. The democratic religion of 
Islam exercised a great attraction upon the masses, so 



64 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

that to-day one fourth of the inhabitants of India are 
among the followers of the Prophet. Moreover, religions 
have a way of accommodating themselves one to another 
in the Orient, where purely religious discord — aside 
from social and political interests — is well-nigh un- 
thinkable. The Oriental mind, cosmopolitan in these 
matters, instinctively seizes the elements of unity found 
in all religious belief . From the Hindu point of view Is- 
lamite monotheism couldbe interpreted as amore.intra- 
"2ve form of worship concentrated upon one particular 
divinity, in itself not alien to Hindu ideas. Thus the 
contrasts between these forces were less marked than 
from a purely theoretical point of view we should be led 
to assume. 

Yet, on the other hand, the age of Mogul rule brought 
no true amalgamation of national life* no growth of a 
feeling of unity and common purposes among the intel- 
lectual leaders of India. The stagnation of the Hindu in- 
tellect continued and grew more hopelessly film-covered 
as time went on. The patronage secured for literature 
at the courts of various Indian rulers kept alive literary 
activities, but did not produce a strong expression of 
national life. At the courts using the Persian language 
there was, to be sure, a faint after-glow of the glories of 
Persian poetry; but the Hindu dialects had even less to 
show during these centuries of regression. Classic studies 
according to the old form were preserved, but as for any 
manifestations of original genius, it waa.au age .of iatel--- 



INTELLECTUAL LEADERSHIP 65 

lectual decadenpe. The pundits of Benares and like cen- 
tres of Sanskrit learning continued to expound the sacred 
texts; the Yogi philosophers, and other less coherent 
devotees of mystic thought, were, as of yore, deeply 
absorbed in esoteric meditations ; the court poets sang the 
glories of the dawn, or in more amorous moods celebrated 
the soft, silken eyelashes, the lily-white hands of the 
odalisques. But the spirit of Ealidasa was no longer 
abroad in the land, the strength and beauty of poetic 
thought had become a classic legacy. 

It was into this stagnant civilization — full of varied 
and multi-colored life, indeed, in its more detailed as- 
pects, but torpid as a national whole — into this abode 
of departed greatness, into this jungle of castes, this 
tangled wilderness of religious beliefs, from rude fetich- 
worship to all the subtle shadings of deistic speculation, 
it was into this world called India, that the barbarians 
of the Wesk led by commercia l i mpulse, ur g ed on by joal 
ousies, brought new discord ftp^ ft™ even deeper duaU 
ism of life— In certain moods we might almost regard 
it as a fantasy of Providence that it should have de- 
signated, from among all the Western races, the one 
inherently least ideological — least spiritud — to guide 
the destinies of this Mother of beliefs, thoughts, and imag- 
inings. It may perhaps be said that an erudite and imag- 
inative nation would have been too much appalled by 
the task before it; with the impulse to study and under- 
stand the infinite complexity and the strident dishar- 



66 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

monies of Indian life, it might not have combined the 
cool power of will necessary to rule with a firm hand 
over all this agitated world. The EngUsh_haYfi_xdifid_ 

Iqftjjfflft nn pfiPT]r*> qj> ftnugintttinn ; inptinrti hflff H?tt 

their guide — and thu s, afterj bhey had "blur'* ™** ™+o_ 
all the best places of the earth," they maintained thorn. - 

»elve8 by ftvpryyhftrft rttmfMTiing thpnnaplvftfl, *x\A fr^py- 

iwpraiihjftr*tpflnp1fla foflp ^lgftwiaa, Norwas the directness 
of their aim obscured or their purpose deflected by deep 
pondering on the civilizations with which they have to 
deal. Thus, while the French were making an ardent 
propaganda for Gallic civilization, and while the Ger- 
mans were exploring out-of-the-way corners with infinite 
zeal and illuminating results, or were marveling at the 
profundity of Indian thought, the English drank toddy 
and ruled the world. Whenever they did allow theoret- 
ical considerations to prevail, curious consequences 
followed, due, according to hostile critics, to a deeply 
Machiavellian manipulation of causes and effects; while 
others attributed such results to the bland, uncalculating 
liberality of the English rulers. However that may be, 
such occasional instances of theoretical policies did have 
their tangible results; "free trade' 9 in India meant a 
clear road for British merchants, and certain liberal in- 
stitutions set the Indian religious factions by the ears. 1 
But there were few instances of such attempts at " assim- 

1 Mr. Theodore Morison, in his Imperial Rule in India, has 
pointed out strikingly the perverse effects of liberal institutions 
in India. 



INTELLECTUAL LEADERSHIP 



67 



ilation." The English knew, or guessed, that they had 
no predecessors or prototypes in their work; so they 
followed no models. The Romans had a different world 
to conquer and to rule, a world of racially related 
peoples; they, too, remained themselves, but they emu- 
lated the Creator in making other peoples after their 
own image. The Engl ish b AVft frJt t he difference in their 
pnmtini^ ftn j hftvq n ot tried to Angliciz e the subject 
pop ulations. 

It is, however, curious to note that, in so far as the 
policy of assimilation has been used at all in India, it has 
caused the dualism which inevitably results from con- 
quests to become far more emphatic and permanent. 

T^ftjHftlf-^nntftinftHj rAflgrvpH r>Wfl/>fffl* nf th* Ifriglii 

tended ip flfmitrll*** *hg ^ftnt-A fliipprinrii 

jUerors. B ut it i> nnt, nnly t.hft implifld RntAgnnjunj of 

this new «i]^mpn«*H Mate in pll Jfof> "ftf%P f™"*****'* 

social orga nization that stands y a fiftn a pirnmn retult 
gfjjielndian c onquoot r No, 'there has been in addition 

lg5ughtjnto_nati.vfi.life a dualism of q ul frira whiqh , 

reaching^to deeper than anj^ earlier schism, has severe d 
the inte llectual element of the nation from the historic 
tradition s of Indian development. Thus cootemporary 
intellectual life in India has become in congruous gn d 

f ull Of fffllf iflfing ignHgTirngg Innlring tfiof flfmng 1]n j- 

fyin^influence^ jthat dominant impiilsp, wninh fira t^ 

tiocs_draw fcnm ffa Hying ^ngfifiiifmfim of past idp pla 
and achievements. 



68 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

When, a hundred years ago, the English first seriously 
faced the problem of their relation to the native culture 
of India, they were inclined to follow the simple policy of 
laissez faire. Active propaganda of Western ideas was 
avoided and Indian culture was mildly encouraged, as it 
had been encouraged by the Mogul and native rulers 
whom the British succeeded. But the rationalistic side 
of Liberalism, so effectively represented by Lord Ma- 
caulay in his famous report, tended to give prominence 
to the ideal of introducing the Hindu mind, caught in 
the meshes of hampering superstition, to the bright light 
of Western science and philosophy. This view gradually 
gained many adherents among those in authority. Thus 
it came about that the non-assimilating English did ac- 
tually introduce into India a system of education based 
entirely upon their own ideas and experience, a system 
which in the event served to impede the spontaneous 
development of native culture and to substitute in its 
place an artificial exotic growth. 

It has now become a matter of common knowledge 
and opinion that the Indian system of education is too 
exclusively literary and too superficial to make for train- 
ing in efficiency. The instruction of the students in the 
middle and higher schools consists of English grammar, 
composition and literature, mathematics, philosophy 
(logic and metaphysics), and general history, to which 
are added on a second plane, Sanskrit, Latin, or some 
modern Indian language, and an elementary smattering 



INTELLECTUAL LEADERSHIP 69 

of " natural history.' 9 The syBtem is purely a product of 
a priori reasoning, without regard to the historic back- 
ground of Indian culture, nor to the economic and social 
needs of the Indian population. The fact that educational 
affairs were given this turn is due in a large measure to 
the intellectual temper of a time when the historical 
school had not yet done its work and when the all-import- 
ance of scientific training was not as yet understood. 
But its retention in the face of results disastrous to Indian 
culture may be explained partly by the fact that literary 
education, requiring neither laboratories nor even large 
libraries, is cheap, and therefore adapted to an excess- 
ively poor country like India. That the English har- 
bored a sinister purpose to destroy native culture, and 
impede the development of national life in this manner, 
is a charge based on reflex reasoning rather than on a 
frank inquiry into motives. But, though adapted to a 
poor country, the system was evidently apt to make the 
country poorer still by stunting intellectual growth. This 
tendency is now so fully realized by the leaders of India, 
as well as by the Government, that efforts are being 
made to improve training in the direction of really scien- 
tific training and mental power. But in our present study 
of the contemporary Indian intellect we are concerned 
rather with the results produced by this system, during 
its existence of three quarters of a century, than with 
the effects which may be expected from changes sug- 
gested and partially introduced in recent years. 



70 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

In the leading European countries, as well as in Japan, 
there has been an uninterrupted development of national 
culture, disturbed at times, retarded, warped by external 
factors, yet in the main a continuous growth. There has 
at least been no violent break in traditions, from the 
Nibelungenlied to Hauptmann, from Beowulf to Tenny- 
son, yes, even from Tacitus to Renan, from Aristotle to 
Lord Kelvin. The literature, science, philosophy, ethics, 
of to-day are intimately connected with our past tradi- 
tions, out of which they have been gradually developed. 
Nor has there ever been a long period of decadence and 
stagnation; for as the Roman world fell into decay, the 
vigorous Germanic nations were giving themselves their 
first schooling in a more progressive civilization. In this 
the circumstances of the Orient, especially of India, 
have differed widely from our own. There the great 
things lie in the past, and, f o^centuri^ priQr to tho oom  
ing of the British, t he national m ind, despairing of any 
higherd estiny, or flatly contented, turned its eyes to the 
past forall guidance and liisptrafTonT Tt was a n era of in- 
tellectu al langu or, satisfied that the best hacLbeen said 
and the grea test achie ved, — not of resol utestriyingior 
s till higher advanc e. TJien suddenly this connection, 
with the paffl was se vered. an< * fli* TnHiMi intellect was 
i nvaded b y the conflicting notions and ideas of European, 
lite rary culture , jm parted in a superficial manner. 

It is a fact that the intense curiosity aroused among us 
by the Orient was in a measure reciprocated with regard 



INTELLECTUAL LEADERSHIP 71 

to Western learning by a large part of the Indian cultured 
world, even in the first era of more intimate contact. The 
Indians were lukewarm in the support of their own tra- 
ditional culture, and their youth crowded the opening 
portals of Western learning. Was it a true hunger for 
mental sustenance, was it idle curiosity, greed for nov- 
elty, which affects even the staid and stoic East? or 
was it even less dignified — connected with the quest for 
clerical employment? 

I Enthusiasm for the learning of the conquerors is in- 
deed a frequent phenomenon: as the Blast Indians were 
eager to learn English, so are the Filipinos ; so the negroes 
of North America and of the West Indies yearn for a 
literary education. Undoubtedly motivea-of a-raixed 
nature are active in this matter; ohiof nmong thorn, 

howPVP^lmittg *y1mu]|'P far I^I^Pfi^^qiiftlify yr\] ;h g^ 
ruling ra§p. Jkliadia, wHam* +Iip gHiirmf inn^ pyatAm was 

made ihe gateway to preferment in the native civil-aer- 
vicc^narrowlyutilitarian methods and practices soo&be- 
gan to dominate.Jt is depressing to consider the effects 
produced when a purely cultural factor — literary or ar- 
tistic — is turned into an instrument for obtaining an 
extraneous advantage, when it is associated with a utility 
foreign to itself. In India,, education came to bejre- 
garded, not aa a development and an unfolding of 4he 
mind, an .adaptation to social environment and a fitting 
foiLgocial service, but as a condition to being employed 
bxJtbejQoyernment and earning a clerk's salary. 



72 



CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 



portal fn^nffirfjrt fipnp1nym<mt f is the end-all and be -all 
of this education^ TbSi energy of stu dents an d teachers 
is bent on theseJt&tfl^and their successful accomplish 
ment is the sole criterion of educational methods. Un- 
fortunately the Government has afforded additional 
encouragement to a tendency, already too strong, by 
basing the ratio of grants-in-aid upon the success of the 
students in a given institution in passing examinations. 

w hich the me mory-is almost cacluaivnly rplipri u pnn It 
is a text-book education, a continued cramming process. 
But even the official standard text-books contain too 
much material for the thrifty-minded students; the con- 
tents are condensed and the abstracts or keys are memo- 
rized, together with the notes on lectures, which latter 
adhere closely to the subject-programme set for the ex- 
aminations. The feats of memory performed at examin- 
ations are indeed notable, but usually they are mechani- 
cal and utterly apart from independent reasoning and 
judgment. Translations are learned "in blocks," and it 
has often happened that students will begin a required 
translation before the point assigned, and with momen- 
tum thus gained run on beyond the end, writing out a 
complete bloc as memorized. Historical facts and names 
will be remembered, not by their logical connections, but 
through some artificial device with the aid of numbers, 
assonances, or fortuitous associations. As a result there 



INTELLECTUAL LEADERSHIP 73 

is a total lack of grasp; the essential is not distinguished 

from the incidental; there is m 

coordinate 

No system could have been more successfully devised 
for the intellectual emasculation of a race than this "in- 
troduction of the Eastern mind to the treasures of our 
literature and philosophy." Instead of training the 
power of observation in the bracing discipline of science, 
developing reason and judgment through social and his- 
torical investigation, and using literary studies for the 
nourishment of the critical and constructive faculties, 
Indian education has been made up mainly of learning 
by rote parts of an alien literature and half-understood 
summaries and abstracts. On account of the utilitarian 
character of the system, there has not even been an ade- 
quate or fruitful study of the classical and vernacular 
literature of India itself. 

Injgief,. j jif i nf i t fremit i achieved thus far, while the 
ftb^v^m^thnd n wer e in uflft, h a rt boon to Pirogg r rntr rrrtnin 
HatlXfi defects nf the Indian intellect. Through pursuing 
dialectic and literary studies for ages, the Indian mind 
has become remarkably subtle, but also unused to direct 
observation, untrained in independent judgment, fond 
of wordy discussions, volatile, and unpractical. 

But it is not only the mental constitution of the Indian 

people which has suffered through this superficial method 

of education. T he deve lopment of character itselLha* 

-f>flATi ftff^ted, flfl v mm K mpji have not received, together 



74 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

with their intellectual discipline, the needful training of 
their moral nature; the education they received has been 
disconnected from the ethical impulses native and natu- 
ral to the Indian mind, and has not provided the youth 
of India with definite moral aims. Thus by one of those 
str ange pa rafo™* ^f whfoh jwrfwy is so fond, this sys- 
tem, introduced to libeiale^tfeejndi^niind from the 
superstitions nf ft frft/>1rwnrfl Wminp^ has had the fesiflf 
of enslaving rather than settingfree, of weakening raQieF 
fEan'tuilding up, the intellectual forces of India. At 
present its defenders and friends are few, but the effects 
produced will not soon be obliterated, though coming 
generations be better trained. 

Looking now at the present situation of Indian intellec- 
tual life, without further emphasis upon the harm directly 
caused by an unfortunate system, we note as one of its 
most striking, yet natural, indirect results, an unusual 
dissociation of the educated from the masses of the 
people. The rdurfttrri world in of onurno ovorywhorc in 
danger of losing its contact with the broader currents of 
human life and experience ; but in India, w hfil? th * 1pftrn<>H 
class has been reared upoiLan alien culture, this^letach- 
ment is especially noticeable. The .intellectual leaders 
are not f ully understood 'b^tbejr own people; in other 
words* those whose intellectual powers entitle them to 
leadership have received from their education little as- 
sistance towa^_ making annhlpn/lprship effective. The 
intimate ideas, images, and notions that appeal to the 



INTELLECTUAL LEADERSHIP 75 

Indian masses are derived from the Vedas, the Puranas, 
Kalidasa, not from Burke, Hume, and J. S. Mill. The 
sub ject-m att er of India n_ed^fifttion ig nhV), and not n£ 
such a nature as to jgy? thf ™'™*« trainpH in it. un- 
acknowledged and almost irresistib le power, born ,ftf a 
mastery of the c ultura l / >n Yllvrnif Tlf j ™"™h AthnrQiiflhlY 
o^W|iiflt.A t^ininp; wnnlH Knfltmw. An Indian orator, 

who wishes to appeal to the masses, must unlearn his 
alien ideas and steep himself again in the native lore. 
We know the high motives which led to the establish- 
ment of Western learning in India; yet if a follower of 
Machiavellian statecraft had created the Indian Govern- 
ment, he could not have devised a shrewder means of 
sterilizing natural leadership than by making intellectual 
culture alien and literary. 

It may here be noted that th e actual influence of th e 
educated natives has often been overestimated bv fo e 
European obser^r. TO«r iwnipimH nf tho T^elifih IflDr 

, gliagft PnahlftS them t/* mnlrA f.nftmgglvPfl hftarH in tfrft 

jworld . Button the other hand* their Alien traini ng pre - 
v ents them fr om being always the effective interpreters 
Qi_whatthelhree hundred miiii™™ nf in* Indian rmy"** 

JeeL.lt is this fact which makes it so difficult for an out- 
sider to form an accurate judgment on Indian political con- 
ditions. He may listen to the sober and optimistic reports 
of the Government, or to the contemptuous prejudices of 
the resident commercial Europeans and their press, or to 
the strident manifestos and denunciations of the educated 



76 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

natives. Yet, how is he to form a correct view of the 
needs and feelings of the silent millions untouched by 
European culture, patient of conquerors, plodding and 
poor, but apt to move suddenly with the massive impact 
of a landslide or the tumultuous sweep of a typhoon? 
During the last few years, it is true, a great advance has 
been made in unifying the thoughts and sentiments of all 
classes in India, and in making the leadership of the in- 
tellectual and educated more effective. But all the rela- 
tions of public and social life in India still suffer from 
the dualism which has been pointed out. 

But while the education in JSnglish has raised a wall 
betwe en the Wrn»rf *nd +frp mflffiffifli it haft ft n t hft Q f Mr 
hand^ ex ercise d a unifying effect by giving India a c om- 
mon lang uage; a langu age, it is tr ue, which is used astheir 
mother tongue by les s than one thousandth of the Indian- 
population, and of which only a slightly larger portion 
of the natives have a good speaking knowledge; yet 
throughout the length and breadth of India, the edu- 
cated classes can now be appealed to in this common 
vernacular. TWo w gnw^ np *n F,nglig>T| nntiirr prnnrr — 

comprising some excellent, and numerous indifferent, 
periodicals and journals: and more than a thousand 
books are annually published in that language in India. 
It is the language of th e lecture platform, and of the 

learned and political societies. The speeche s in the In- 

dian National Congress, in the ^general educational and_ 
social-reform congresses, are .delivered iiQt_ in Hindi or .._. 



INTELLECTUAL LEADERSHIP 77 

Bengali or Tamil, but in English. That the growth of a 
feeling of national unity among the Indian people has 
been helped by this fact goes without saying; yet the in- 
fluence is not deep nor far-reaching enough to afford a 
basis for a true national regeneration; for that purpose 
a native vernacular would be needed. 
There is_no likelihood that E nglish will be co me th e 

IfmgiiAgft nf the irumaefl fa J ndia r Or Of an y very ftnnaidpr. 

able^portioa of the^opuLation. Nevertheless its status 
as a literary language of the educated is not without its 
importance. For one thing, it keeps these classes in 
touch with European public opinion, and while it arouses 
in them political aspirations, it also makes them feel 
wherein their own culture and civilization are defective. 
Thus it is the native leaders of opinion who are most 
strenuous in their advocacy of a reform in education, in 
their demand for scientific training. 
English is the_la nguage of conscious reasoning, of 

re flected t.hnnghtj in TnHiV JTioufth creative lib rary 

expression has. been, frttifmptod in Englifih hy Tnrlinn 
writers! they have achieved only a moderate amount 
of su ccess.. They have not come within measurable dis- 
tance of the creation of a true Anglo-Indian literature, 
which would express and interpret the inner movement 
of Indian life, the deeper emotions and yearnings of the 
Indian soul. The delightful poems of Tom Dutt, Rama- 
krishna's Tales of Ind, Romesh C. Dutt's Slave Girl of 
Agra, and the English verse of M. Ghose, who competed 



78 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

with Alfred Austin for the poet-laUreateship, are, after 
all, exotics. It is but natural that English has not be- 
come the language of the heart — of fireside tales and 
love-songs; still, as an instrument of exposition, argu- 
mentation, and description, it is being employed with 
great aptitude by numerous Indian writers, some of 
whom occasionally attain the level of the ablest English 
expository essayists. 

Though the critical doorkeepers of even the better 
Indian reviews do not always succeed in shutting out 
articles of diffuse content and apprentice-like workman- 
ship, a faithful reader of such periodicals as the Hindustan 
Review, the Indian Magazine, the Indian World, the 
Modem Review, East and West, will again and again be 
rewarded by some article of admirable clearness or true 
literary charm. This freque nt mastery of a stro ng ft nf * 
n ervou s English style, which exacts an unfailing homage 
from those newly acquainted with Indian writing, is the 

one redeeming res ult of the educat ional system, as we ll as 

a proof, of .the adaptiyen ess of t he Indian mind. The 
style of some of these writers would indeed satisfy the 
most exacting taste. Their diction is lucid and agreeable, 
their suggestions are subtle, their grasp of general ideas 
is impressive, their information wide and varied. They, 
however, often lack a sense of humor and a just ap- 
preciation of literary values, — which occasionally robs 
their writings of effectiveness to us. 

For the more luxuriant growths of Indo-Englisb-style 



INTELLECTUAL LEADERSHIP 79 

o ne fr ga to go to th e newspapers. Even in these the 
writers often manifest a surprising mastery of English, 
but it is here that the babuism flourishes, — an exotic 
English phrasing colored by Hindu modes of thought 
and expression. Delicious specimens of inverted idiom 
abound; we are remorselessly dashed from the heights of 
sentiment by the blow of a flat anticlimax or again made 
to ascend into the clouds from the level of commonplace 
discussions; strident invective is found side by side with 
inflated grandiloquence. 1 Yet withal, the discussion of 
political, cultural, and literary matters is carried on in 

1 It is not surprising that the English of Indian writers should 
occasionally have quaint or comical turns. The manner in which 
native writers are most apt to offend is in a flattening-out at the 
ends of their sentences, as when an obituary notice of a prominent 
man says that "His death has made this part of the world dark, 
as it were." They seem to be especially fond of such gentle phrases 
as "a pretty pass" or "quite a pity." Another shading occurs in 
the following : " Mr. Madan Mohan stands like Eiffel's Tower when 
he addresses his fellow congressmen. He stands, slanting for- 
ward, admirably preserving his centre of gravity." Again, a writer 
will pass with surprising abruptness from an account of very ordin- 
ary affairs to outbursts of poetical or romantic imagination, as in 
this description of the habits of Rash Behasi Ghose, taken from a 
serious bibliographical essay: "He goes to bed very late, and pro- 
longs his studies to the small hours of the morning. As a necessary 
consequence, he is seldom up before nine, and he has never witnessed 
one of the most glorious scenes of nature: the mellow sun suffusing 
the eastern sky and the crimson rays of its blood-red orb bursting 
forth in all their glory at early dawn." Often, in his desire to pro- 
duce a strong impression, the writer will steal from Peter to pay 
Paul, as in the following: "The speeches of Keshub Chunder Sen, 
Surendranath Bannerjee, and Lalmohan Ghose . . . compared 
with those of Sir Ph. M. Mehta, pale into insignificance and flatten 
down to the tawdriest of affairs." __ 



80 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

these journals effectively and upon a high plane. Though 
this press, of course, speaks to the educated Hindu, 
rather than to the Indian masses, no student of the In- 
dian world can afford to neglect it. Among the best 
known of the English papers edited by natives of India 
are the Nation, moderate in its views; the Indian Mirror, 
originally edited by Keshub Chunder Sen; the Bengali, a 
large and well-written metropolitan newspaper; and the 
Amrita Bazar Patrika; all of Calcutta. The latter paper 
was originally published in the Bengali dialect; but when 
the Vernacular Press Act was passed, it changed its lan- 
guage to English in order to avoid the restrictions im- 
posed by that law. Other papers of prominence are the 
Hindu and the Indian People, of Madras; the Tribune 
and the Panjabi, published in the Panjab. A regular 
reader of such a paper will be supplied with abundant 
and accurate information concerning domestic and in- 
ternational politics and events of public interest the world 
over; he will be able to follow in detail the discussions in 
the Indian legislative councils and in such gatherings as 
the National Congress; and he will find intelligent and 
incisive commentaries upon public affairs. Matters of 
literary and intellectual interest are given special atten- 
tion in these sheets. The Indian press described above 
must be distinguished from those papers which appeal 
especially to the British residents in India, and are edited 
distinctly from their point of view. 1 It is not surprising 

1 Leading publications of this dan are the Englishman and the 



INTELLECTUAL LEADERSHIP 81 

that these two sections of the Indo-English press are 
quite generally engaged in bitter recrimination; and it 
must be confessed that an example of due moderation is 
not always given by the British section. 1 

Journalism jnjbhe verna cular languages of India has 
notyTasT^yhfifin raised to an independent and dignified 
nogjtjnn Tim-Indi a n i rrnlinp; yiuhlin i n rea c h e d m ore 
effectively by_the papers jmttenJn^Engliah; and alto- 
gether it is smaH compa re d w ith the tot al popula tion. 
Consequently, the circulation of the journals written in 
the dialects is limited, and beggarly salaries are paid to 
editors and writers. The gross annual income of even a 
good monthly will usually not exceed the sum once paid 
to Mr. Gladstone for a single article. Journalism, 
therefore, does not afford a secure livelihood, and news- 
paper writing is usually pursued as an avocation by 
teachers and lawyers. But as every copy that is printed 
is read by, or to, many besides the original purchaser, 
the vernacular press does after a fashion reach people. 
It is, therefore, the favorite and most convenient vehicle 
of expression to those who are carrying on political 
agitation. These men are not always particular in the 
allegations which they make against the Government; 

Statesman, of Calcutta; the Madras Mail and the Times of India; 
the Civil and Military Gazette, of the Panjab; the Pioneer, of Alla- 
habad; and the Bombay Gazette. 

1 Thus, recently, the Pioneer wrote about "descending into 
Bengal with fire and sword, and shooting and harrying remorse- 
lessly; and it evoked the "tiger qualities of the Imperial race," 
which are not dead, but merely sleep. 9 ! 



82 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

and though the latter looks upon freedom of the press 
as a safety-valve, the present exacerbation of political 
unrest has again brought to the fore the demand for a 
more rigorous supervision of vernacular newspapers. 1 

The ihiff Agawf n > if ^v™ ^"a* 1 tV intfdUrtnnl lif r of 
India ra diates a rg fl 1 * *.hroft great puden cy towns w ith 
univ*fT ffl f ' Aa ***** Wrnpri nofifr+' es, to which mu st be 
added scholarly Alla habad and lordly Laho re; Poona 
and Benares, the noted seats of Sanskrit learning; and 
the Moslem metropoles, Delhi and Hyderabad. Among 
learned societies, first rank is taken by the Asiatic Society 
in Bombay and Bengal, in the work of which native 
scholars take a large and increasing part; and by the 
Bengal Academy (Sahitya Parishad). The latter was 
founded through the initiative of Romesh C. Dutt, in 
1893 ; it has given much encouragement to the revival 
of Bengali literature, and its six hundred members in- 
clude the leaders in the intellectual life of Bengal. Lit- 
erary societies abound also in the mofuml to wns of 
India, xhere thejLfoster the flame of l earning or at jgftst 
keep ali yejntellectual activity and curiosity . But the 
most promi nent plat form for the exercise o f Ipn/fcrfffrip j 8 

1 Among the monthly reviewB printed in the Indian languages 
there are some publications of considerable importance to the stud- 
ent of modern India, such as the Bharati, the Sahitya, the Nabya 
Varat, which is of an especially high literary grade, the Salai~Am t 
and the Prabari. The editor of the latter also publishes the Modern 
Review, and it is, indeed, very common for modern Hindus to 
undertake extensive intellectual and literary activities in several 
languages. 



INTELLECTUAL LEADERSHIP 83 

afford ed by the National Comfi t, a h My composed of 

HplAgftfPtf ifmm ftH partfl Of Ifl^^j ****"** meata fq r ^ a^pnf 

pfTJ^ pypiy yftgr for thp dinniOTifm iff politirftl ppv 

blemfl. It ifl hgigjjmj; patinnftl ifWk atp p1».h^rftt^H | ^nH 

that leading men, by the force of their personalities or 
example, mould the public opinion of India. SuchOTgan- 
izations as the Indian Conference, the Indian Social 
Conference, and the Mohammedan Educational Con- 
ference also afford abundant opportunity for the ex- 
change of views among educated men of India. * At these 
meetings the leaders of native opinion atte mpt to arri ve 
a *L a programme of concerted action and to work out 
clear conceptiona_of what is Hf»rirfthlft imH Af w h fll t ™ ft y 
be achieved. Frequently their efforts^ hpwever^ resolv 
themselves in orato rical appeals riirfTtfri agftinat tfaft 

proud p*rflppt.fl n f Blifoh nTOrlnrHakip 

The means of expression at the command of the In- 
dian educated world are peculiar, in that they consist of 
a foreign language in which higher education is carried 
on, and in vernaculars which have but a short and meagre 
literary history. The older languages in which the treas- 

1 The variety of the intellectual interests of India is illustrated 
by the following list of congresses held in 1910 in Allahabad and 
Nagpur: The Indian National Congress, the Indian Industrial 
Conference, the Indian Social Conference, the Temperance Con- 
ference, the Industrial and Agricultural Exhibition, the Common 
Script Conference, the All-India Moslem League, the Mohamme- 
dan Educational Conference, the Convention of Religions, the 
Theistic Conference, the Indian Ladies' Conference, the Kshatrya 
Conference, and the Hindu-Moslem Conference. 



84 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

ures of Indian thought and expression repose, are still 
widely studied, and even employed as a medium for writ- 
ing. Every year over five hundred Sanskrit books are 
published in India. Yet, however valuable as a language 
of classical scholarship, Sanskrit cannot be revived as a 
vernacular and adapted to the present literary needs of 
India. 

TTjgtnry flPAmc im paint -in 4TJ wdi i w».ftTn tu\ tht\ 

language^ India, if, indeed, a common vernacular is 
finally to be adopted. Thisjanguage ia among the most 
lavishly endowed in existence. As English rests upon the 
solid substructure of a sturdy Saxon speech, and has 
been enriched through Norman French with the treas- 
ures of the Latin language, so Hindustani is an idiom 
based upon Hindi, the popular tongue of Upper India, 
a vernacular derived from Sanskrit, to which has been 
added the wealth of Persian and Arabic diction. Both 
Hindi, in which the Sanskrit element predominates, and 
Urdu, rich in Persian ingredients, have a noteworthy 
literature; they tend to converge in modern Hindustani, 1 
in which all this rich inheritance of speech — such is the 
hope of the lovers of this language — is to be preserved 
in a tongue subtle and strong, direct, delicate, and ex- 
pressive, capable of supplying the literary needs of a 

1 The terms Urdu and Hindustani are often used interchange- 
ably; Hindustani is a dialect of Western Hindi, to which a Per- 
sian and Arabic vocabulary has been added; thus it is known 
as Urdu. Originating in the region around Delhi, it became the 
camp language used throughout India under the Mohammedans, 



INTELLECTUAL LEADEBSHIP 85 

great nation. A society has recently been formed at 
Benares (Nagri-Pracharini Sabha) for the purpose of 
fostering the historic study of Hindi, and of bringing to 
light earlier manuscripts of literary value. 

TJieconscious effort to develop, thft literary possibil- 
ities of the vernacular languages is of re cent orig in. It is 
t o a l arge extent due to the quickening of the Indian 
intelligence which followed upon the first contact with 
Western reform ideas in the earlier half of the pasL£en-_ 
tury. Ofthis movement the Brahmo-Somaj was the 
centre. The men whose- mental horizon had been wi d- 
ened by the new ideas, sought for a medium to com- 
municate the tbouithttiiat was burning within them^to 
larger circles of their fellow men,. The vernaculars — 
thus far used chiefly for oral communication — had 
been employed to a certain extent in poetic expression, 
but not in serious discussion in written prose. Rammo- 
hun Roy, while acting as an advocate of Western 
learning and institutions, at the same time did pioneer 
service in making of Bengali a literary language. He 
took the initiative in creating a vernacular press in 
India. The impulse given by him was quickened by the 
great scholars Ishwar Ch. Vidyasagar and A. K. Dutt, 
who are generally considered as the real founders of 
Bengali prose. 

Modern vernacular litera ture thus be ^ra a string 

imprint, nf Wefltern, fff^^Alj^JRnglj«h | mo^ elfl ftp fl 

js a reflex result of English education. The 



86 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

dialects of Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Urdu, and Hindi, 
have especially shared in this development. The best 
known novelist of modern India, Bankim Chandra 
Chatterji, as well as the poet Rabindranath Tagore, and 
the dramatist Dinabandhu, used Bengali; Tulsi Das, 
whose works have passed through hundreds of editions, 
wrote in Hindi; while the Urdu side of Hindustani 
boasts as leaders of its literary expression writers like 
Mir Taqi and Ghalib, and the court poets Munshi Ameer 
Ahmed Ameer and Nawab Mirza Khan Dagh, in whom 
lived the traditions of Persian song. Dinabandhu's 
tragedy, Nil Darpan, a counterpiece to Dekker's Javan 
story, Max Havdaar, is strongly influenced by Western 
literary forms, though its subject-matter is Indian — 
the woes and sufferings of peasant existence. The 
romances of Bankim were inspired by Sir Walter Scott, 
though the materials from which they are wrought are 
Indian thought, tradition, and social convention. Such 
books as Dwrgesh Nandini, Kapdla Kundald, Chandra 
Shekar, and The Poison Tree, afford an interesting sur- 
vey of Indian life, traditions, and social ideals. From 
the point of view of art, their style is so simple and their 
thought so naive as to give them an almost archaic 
flavor. 

It is quite nptewnrthy fh ft t f fog nw^lrpniflg pf InHjan 

ft developments 
thg_dramaaJQi§ d esire for a more active life, fojia more 
Eositiye £nd An«yf.in *flmpfi r , h flfl fflroTgyj.A f y!f & A 



INTELLECTUAL LEADERSHIP 87 

drama that, while still incomplete and halting in tech- 
nique, is yetalive with new ideals. Thus the stage bids 
fair to play an important part in the working-out of 
those motives and forms of thought which go to make 
up the new Indian life. Rabindranath Tagore, the Ben- 
gali poet, has tried his hand also as a dramatist, produc- 
ing Raja o Rani and Oarai Oalad; other Bengali writers 
have even more extensively sought literary expression 
in dramatic form. Thus, Girish Chandra Ghose has 
produced numerous dramas, among them Nala Dama- 
anti and Buddha Dele, while Amritalal Bose follows 
closely behind with his Adarska Bandhu (Ideal Friend) 
and Bejoy Basania. Ghose was a disciple of Rama- 
krishna; the master, recognising the literary gifts of his 
young follower, would not allow him to renounce the 
world, but bade him use his gifts for the delight and 
improvement of his country. In other dialects, too, 
there has been a dramatic revival. In Gujarati, Dahyab- 
hai Dhal Sha produced a number of plays which gave 
new standing to the drama in this language; the author 
exercised a great influence upon public opinion in favor 
of social reforms, which he makes appear, not only 
desirable, but necessary. Marathi drama was revolu- 
tionized by Eirlosker, who infused a spirit of healthy 
action into the dramas of Maharastra. 

Bankim's books, Ananda Math and Devi Chau Dhu- 
rani, have become factors in the present unrest in India. 
The former, the story of a conspiracy to drive out the 



88 CURRENTS IN THE- FAR EAST 

early English conquerors, contains the original of the 
national hymn, Bande Mataram. The romantic view 
of Indian history contained in these books has had a 
powerful influence in arousing the national spirit of 
India. The relation is not unlike that of early nineteenth- 
century romanticism to the development of German 
national life. So strong are the feelings that have been 
stirred up by these books that the Government has been 
on the verge of forbidding their further publication as 
seditious, though they were written forty years ago. 
Most recently, the production of Nil Darpan has actu- 
ally been interdicted. No more effective means of arous- 
ing Indian patriotism could be imagined than such 
official embargoes on cherished works of literature. 

Among f^ftAffYftM* whiph rft/tiftte fmm tht> fgntrga 

oLEndian intellectual life, scientific research is the most 
slender and fitful. The apparatus of scientific scholar-^ 
ship is almost entirely lacking. The present resources 
of India are so poor that it has not been possible to 
establish well-furnished laboratories or even libraries. 
There is scarcely a high school in the larger cities of the 
United States which has not a better scientific equip- 
ment than can be found at any Indian institution of 
learning, with one or two exceptions. In all Bengal there 
are only two or three professors who have been encour- 
aged and placed in a position to do research-work. 
While in Japan many hundreds of students engage in 
advanced research, Bengal cannot muster more than 



INTELLECTUAL LEADERSHIP 89 

a score. Recently a wealthy Parsee, Mr. Tata, following 
in the footsteps of our own Carnegie, gave some million 
rupees for the foundation of a scientific institute in 
Bombay. On a smaller scale, a number of technical 
schools and scientific institutes have been founded, 
among them the memorial to Sir Amar Singh, estab- 
lished last year by his brother the Maharajah of Kash- 
mir, at Srinagar. Thus what formerly would have been 
the occasion for the erection of some merely ostenta- 
tious monument, is now transformed into an aid toward 
higher national efficiency. The Society for the Advance- 
ment of Scientific and Industrial Education of Indians 
has been founded for the purpose of supplying the 
deficiencies in the older method of education. Its efforts 
up to the present have been directed chiefly to making 
it possible for promising students to go to Europe, 
America, and Japan in order to acquire a scientific or 
industrial education. Thus from various sources exer- 
tions are made to supply India with those elements of 
intellectual life which, up to the present, have been too 
inadequately developed. The matter of technical edu- 
cation has frequently been brought up of late in the 
Legislative Council of the Indian Empire. The native 
members of this body bring forward the subject and 
introduce resolutions calling upon the Government to 
establish polytechnical colleges in India. They charge 
the Government with expending the revenues of India 
for military purposes, while leaving the industrial 



90 



CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 



education of the people uncared for. The Government 
will then point to the beginnings which have been made 
in many provinces in giving systematic instruction in 
industrial work, engineering, and mining. The official 
members take the position that, on account of the 
limited resources of India, only slow progress can be 
made in this direction. In the end, the resolution is 
voted down against a minority of almost all the native 
members. 

Native^ educational reformer ill general are fully 
Alivft tn the need of India for-_flcientiSc_r€«earch and 



training. Thus the Mohammedan college at Aligarh 
(Koil) combines a thorough scientific education with 
the study of the Islamite culture. Projects which have 
from time to time been made for the creation of a na- 
tional Hindu university, in every case include provisions 
for advanced courses in the natural sciences. The Gov- 
ernment, too, is beginning to give heed to these demands. 
It has established a few research scholarships, and seems 
inclined to give a more scientific turn to education. Yet 
many Anglo-Indians harbor a strong sentiment against 
letting the natives share in the scientific command over 
the forces of nature. 1 Thus ihe_pruicipal achievements 

1 A striking example of such dogged Uliberality is found in the 
memorandum of a former Surveyor-General of India, in which he 
says: "It is suicidal for Europeans to admit that natives can do 
anything better than themselves. ... In my own surveying- 
parties I never permitted a native to touch a theodolite or make 
an original computation, on the principle that the triangulation 
or scientific work was the prerogative of the highly paid European." 



INTELLECTUAL LEADERSHIP 91 

Western rr yjlinftt ion j t hr m rmn tr r j ove r i ml ii n , Mm n ry 
thing which the na tives wo ul d mnat rp^ il y Ack nowledge 
as superior and strive to emul ate, is not a d equately im- 
parted taiham. A government which annually spends 
about one thousand millions of rupees has found itself 
too poor to expend anything for scientific education. 
To such strange use has the rationalistic liberalism of 
Bentham and Mill been put in India. 

Wtulejtj&Jthe L£enjus of Inj ia trr Yr hrfifpviArnt niH 
phjbffftphififtl, the Hindus are hy no means Iftrkingjn 
napopi^Y f™ ftAnnrai^ Boieaiific ^fllt That they are 
thus gifted has been abundantly proven by the achieve- 
ments of such men as the renowned physicist, Doctor 
J. C. Bose, who is by many considered to be the first 
inventor of wireless telegraphy; and of P. C. Roy and 
Gazzar, both noted chemists. The latter possesses one 
of the best equipped private laboratories in chemistry, 
which he has allowed the University of Bombay to use 
in the teaching of advanced courses. Indians have often 
carried off the highest honors in the English universities. 
R. P. Paranjape was senior wrangler in mathematics at 
Cambridge; D. N. Mullick won a similar distinction, 
while H. N. De carried off first honors in classics at 
Oxford. The latter is the Mezzofanti of India, enjoy- 
ing the mastery of twenty different languages. Paran- 
jape is now president of Ferguson College, where he 
gives his services for seventy-five rupees a month in 
order to help Indian education. Unselfish action of this 



92 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

kind among men of the very highest intellectual ability 
is not uncommon in India; as an offset to her many woes 
she may count the unusual devotion of the ablest among 
her sons. But while scientific capacity is undoubtedly 
present among the Indians, favorable conditions for its 
development have not yet been created. Moreover, all 
the past training of Indian thinkers is calculated to make 
them averse to narrower specialization. One man now 
living has attempted the mastery of Sanskrit literature, 
geology, mathematics, astrology, and other branches 
more. The self-limitation which is necessary for the 
soundest scientific training, Indian scholars do not seem 
ready to impose upon themselves. A great deal of 
national and individual self-discipline will have to be 
exerted before India can hope to win a prominent place 
in scientific thought. 

Tfro pojpnf ;fi/> in rao* fot.inn nf nintflric facts, no riflflfily 
Mliftti f -° the metho d of the natural sciences, has also 
r eceive d littleenco uragem e nt in I ndia. TheJOrien tal 
mind is not predisposed to historic stud ies. True, the 
past appears all-important, but it is a static past, the 
age of some great reformer or religious leader, the past 
as enshrined in the sacred books. Or again, it is the past 
as idealized in the romantic fiction of a Bankim. As a 
development of which the present is the natural out- 
come, and through which alone it can be understood, 
history has lacked votaries in the East, although the 
^evolutionary conception is clearly enough contained in 



INTELLECTUAL LEADERSHIP 93 

Buddhist thought. Historic consciousness is one of the 
most striking characteristics of Western civilization, 
more especially of Western nationalism. 

Among Oriental peoples, it is Japan alone, with its 
nationalistic spirit, that has anything approaching the 
Western historical conception. Moreov er, special diffi- 
culties and discouragements confront the student 6r 
Indian history. The documentary records are unr e liab le 
and fragmentary. The continuous series of chron- 
icles, charters, and law-books, which give a solid foun- 
dation to Western historic scholarship, as well as the 
cultural background provided by the Greek and Roman 
historians, are lacking in India. A satisfactory tracing 
in detail of the movements of Indian history is thus 
rendered almost impossible. There is a great uncertainty 
about dates and localities, and, although antiquarian 
details may be agreeable to some minds, there is no 
powerful fascination in investigations and controversies 
confined to such matters, with only a remote chance of 
satisfactory determination. 

The deep interest of the more recent development of 
India has indeed inspired the labors of such men as 
Romesh C. Dutt (Economic History of India) , and 
Pramatha N. Bose (Hindu Civilization during British 
Rule)] moreover, with the awakening of a sense of 
Indian nationality, historic research is being enlivened 
and roused to greater effort. Special periods and regions 
are being made the subject of scientific historical inves* 



04 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

tigation. Thus the period of the Mohammedan Empire 
has been dealt with by Jadanath Sarcar, and Rajwade 
has conducted deep researches in Maratha history. 
Dinesh Chandra Sen has furnished a good account of 
Bengali literature. In all this little enough encourage- 
ment has come from the schools. History is taught in 
a cut-and-dried fashion, from outlines and manuals 
which are mechanically memorized, though only half- 
understood. In some of the universities it is even pos- 
sible to take honors in historic studies without having 
received any university training in Indian history at all. 
One of the most notable signs of the influence of Wqat- 
ern modes of thought in I ndia is the preeminence whi 
many Hindu thinkers and historic students give to 



nomic dat a. No t only, do they recognize the basic i m- 
portance of economic_facto£& in .gotiaLdfivelopment, 
but they also see Jn an, understanding jrf-£conoinie4ftw» 
the key to a better couns eling in the aff airegf their own 
country*- R. C. Dutt and P. N. Bose, the historians 
already cited, have given serious attention to the suc- 
cessive economic transformations of India. A mind 
which busied itself especially with economic and social 
conditions was that of Mahadeo S. Ranade, a justice of 
the Bombay High Court, who died in 1904. Deep and 
comprehensive study had assured him a clear grasp of the 
various fields of social and economic activity, through 
which he was enabled to deal effectively with Indian 
economic problems. Another contemporary writer who 



INTELLECTUAL LEADERSHIP 95 

owes his distinction primarily to economic studies is 
Mr. Subramania Iyer, of Madras. 

Critical students of economics might find fault with 
the writings of the Indian economists as being colored 
by a poignant sense of the unfavorable position into 
which India has been brought through British domin- 
ance. The question whether or not India is to-day 
poorer than under the Mongols will generally be ap- 
proached with a certain tinge of bitterness against the 
English, with a desire to hold the latter responsible for 
some things which have been inevitable. As the British 
raj is justified by its defenders chiefly on account of the 
economic benefits conveyed through it to the Indian 
population, e.g., through irrigation, railways, and other 
public works; the discussion of economic history itself 
is always prone, in India, to assume a political coloring. 
It is in this field where data are so confused and incom- 
plete, where chains of remote causation have to be dealt 
with, that there is especial need of the careful, broad- 
based inductions of a purely scientific method. Some of 
the government universities have recently incorporated, 
as a separate subject for study and examination, "The 
Progress of India under British Rule." Since the avowed 
purpose of such a course is to counteract native discon- 
tent, and its very title embodies a conclusion, we can 
hardly look to it for any special value in training the 
native mind to an accurate observation and analysis of 
economic life. 



96 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

More has been accomplished on the side of literary 
history and criticism. The most original and power- 
ful of Indian scholars, Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar and 
Rajendra Lai Mitra, gave their chief attention to such 
studies. These men exemplify in their intellectual life 
the best results of the contact between East and West. 
With their intelligence quickened and their mind enriched 
by Western learning, they remained true to their native 
culture, which they studied from a new point of view. 
The name, Vidyasagar, — Ocean of Learning, a nam de 
guerre, or might we say nam de savoir, like the titles be- 
stowed on great mediaeval teachers, — was conferred on 
its holder by his alma mater. With a head resembling 
that of Esopus as pictured by the Greek sculptor, this 
Indian scholar, versed in all the classic lore of his country, 
was no less deeply interested in the broad currents of 
humanity than was the Greek fabulist, nor was he 
entirely without the other's sense of humor. He found 
time to become a leader in social-reform movements 
and to do for the Bengali dialect what Luther had done 
for his Saxon tongue. Rajendra Lai Mitra, a man of 
superb bearing, a sinewy and erect body crowned with a 
leonine head, a man moreover of proud, unbending 
spirit, was perhaps the greatest Indian scholar and critic 
of the nineteenth century, — from our point of view at 
least. 

The preeminence of Sanskrit and Pali historical -i 
vestigation seems to be returning from Europe tn Tndia 



INTELLECTUAL LEADERSHIP 97 

herse lf. Benares and Poona are the centres of this schol- 
arship, and among its principal representatives in recent 
years are Bhandarkar, Yattabhuson, the Aptes of Bom- 
bay, Shanker Pandurang, Satis Chandra, Haroprasad 
Sastri, Ganganatha Jha, and Rao Bahadur C. V. 
Vaidya. B. G. Tilak, a man of the widest interests, a 
scholar and political agitator, has also produced some 
interesting studies on Sanskrit literature. He has just 
written a book, the GUa Rahasya, in which he deals with 
the Hindu philosophy of active life, and compares it in 
detail with Western transcendentalism, especially with 
the thought of Kant. Yattabhuson also has been at- 
tracted by the comparative method and has given us a 
study of Vedanta in its relation to modern thought. 
Text criticism, translations, commentaries, and lexico- 
graphic works are now being produced in large quan- 
tities and with great success by scholars, who are as- 
sisted by the efforts of the Asiatic Societies of Calcutta 
and Bombay and other learned bodies. Scientific work 
in connection with the vernaculars is also being pur- 
sued by many native scholars. Thus, at the instance of 
the Bengal Academy, there has just been produced a 
code of rules for the transliteration of Arabic and 
Persian words into Bengali. Buddhist learning has its 
principal centre in Rangoon, where a group of eminent 
writers ably represent the latest tendencies in Buddhist 
thought, writing both in the classic languages and in 
English. 



96 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

A&iQngJbhe ifltellAHamJ ImuIptr pf NfflLigdi* none 
have attracted more attention with us in the West than 
the religions and social reformer s. No t only are the 
expressions of religious sentiment in the Orient in them- 
selves deeply significant to us x but in this cas e our i n- 
terest has been intensified because we have believed that. 
we were witnessing an essential modification of Oriental 
thought consequent upon, the contact with Western 
Christianity. That the Brahmo-Somqj movement was 
actually inspired by, and received its guiding impulse 
from, contact with the scientific West, is-o£ course ev- 
ident; but it is a more doubtful question how far th* 
monotheism of Ch"^ ftn ' f y « w " M, teri a distinctive. and. 
de finit e influent & Uhnngh th* T *Ml^rfl ti^rfl1Jptm frYfr- 
ment is ful^of assonances, fn nhrifttinn thought, in its 
Unitarian form. The three sects into which the Brahmo- 
Somaj is now divided, together have less than five thous- 
and members- They are indeed congregations of highly 
intellectual and spiritud people, to be compared with 
bodies like the old Positivist Society of London. But 
the movement has nothing of the passionate sweep of a 
religious reformation. Though its ideas have exerted a 
great influence upon the thoughtful men of India, yet 
on the vast surface of the sea of the Indian masses they 
have produced but a slight ripple. Their real import- 
ance must be sought in a powerful liberalizing impetus 
given to Indian thought. 

Mapy religious-mffids in fadkweem toiind the ration- 



INTELLECTUAL LEADERSHIP 99 

aliaiLZOPyement of the Brahmo 1»*lrjng fa spiriting nnry. 
~4eat. It would be more correct to say that the intel- 
lectual or critical element has been over-emphasized. 
The leaders of the movement were certainly full of the 
spirit of devotion, but their eclectic method in dealing 
with the foundations of belief deprived their system of 
that inner strength, mixed with dross and weakness 
though it be, which can be found only in a more spontan- 
eous religious growth. They neglected the subcon- 
scious forces of human psychology. Yet they were truly 
representative of the intellectual temper of the educated 
classes of India, which is thoroughly rationalistic. This, 
however, is but another aspect of the disassociation from 
the feelings and impulses of the masses which we have 
already noted. Yet, when all these reservations have 
been made, and notwithstanding the small number of 
actual devotees, it must be ^rniM+A that the movement  
trf*the Brahm&hxs exercised & deep Turf ait abiding infl u- 
ence on Indian civilization. It baa. aroused apirit.iiftl Kf ? f 
Mid ha s made men a w a re of tho opportun i tie s for high er 
deve lopment which Ihejnodern world holds*_iis influ- 
ence m revivin&lhe vitality of Bengali literature and of 
Sanskrit study must also not be overlook^. Brahmoism __ 
accept s the personality of Christ as a guiding force jn 

life, hut, it. is far frnm ftffifptj J)gjh a Hhriflt.i an dogmajn 

its comple teness. Thus it had an influence in stopping 
the spreading of dogmatic Christianity among the edu- 
cated classes of India, while, on the other hand, its own 



100 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

expansion was impeded by the foreign elements which 
it had taken up into its thought. 

divided might be called the conservative, the radical, 
and the moderater The Adi Somaj is the most orthodox 
faction. In it the caste instinct is to some extent pre- 
served, and among its members the Brahmans keep the 
sacred traditions. The principal leader of this wing was 
Maharsi Debendranath Tagore, the father of the noted 
Bengali writer. The most liberal sect is the Sadharan 
Somaj, which seeks truth wherever it may be found, 
and at its services reads from all the bibles of the world, 
including in that term the works of great thinkers like 
Kant and Emerson. Its present leader, Sivanath Shas- 
tri, is a noted Sanskrit scholar. The Nova Bidhan, or 
new dispensation, was founded by Eeshup Chandra 
Sen, who is still idolized by the members of this sect. 
His action in allowing his daughter to be married as a 
child, according to the orthodox Hindu fashion, led to 
the split by which the sect was produced. In its temper 
and tendencies it stands between the other two, attempt- 
ing especially to mediate between Eastern and Western 
civilization. 1 

The Arya Somaj, founded by Dayanand Saraswati, a 
man educated in the Hindu traditions, is closer to the 
heart of the people. This movement clings to the Vedas 

1 Among those members of the sect who are best known in the 
West is Masoomdar, the author of The Oriental Christ. 



INTELLECTUAX/'liEADERSHIP 101 

• «- * 

as inspired, although it has departed from many of the 

former grotesque interpretations and /is reading the 

classics in a straightforward and simple: manner. It 

is militant, even pugnacious in its attitude tdWferd Islam 

and other non-Hindu forms of belief. % .- 

*.• •*■ 

More representative of the older religious sphSi.-of 

• • • 

India are the followers of Ramakrishna, among wheat'; m% 
the recently deceased Vivekananda was the most en- " : : m 
gaging figure. He received an English education, and 
had early in life been attracted by Brahinoism, though 

he jw*me retrft n g*** frnm fn * f - mnvftmftnt tfrrniifln 

what h fi flail*** ita lftp.k in ffpjrfolftl rifiP tn - In these men 
the older traditions of Indian religious life were domin- 
ant. They withdrew from the world for meditation, 
they clung to the Vedas as revealed, they rested satis- 
fied with the old philosophy of India. But they saw it 
with new eyes, they called for a stronger expression of 
personality, a more active devotion; to use a current 
word, they were more pragmatic than the older religious 
teachers of India had been. In this practical tendency 
the contact with Western civilization made itself felt 
rather than in the philosophic form of their thought. 
In the words of Vivekananda, "The best guide in life is 
strength. In religion, as in everything else, discard 
everything that weakens you, have nothing to do with 
it. All mystery-mongering weakens the human brain." 
Language such as this, which might have proceeded 
from so radical an energist as Nietzsche, shows how little 



» 



102 CURRENTS I&VTHE FAR EAST 



the vulgar wondew*<rf "theoeophy" have in common 
with the truly important philosophical and religious 
movement* )p India. Theosophy, far from discovering 
for us thejight of Asia, deals preferably with half-under- 
stood ibystic elements, which the leaders of Indian 
tibdtight look upon as remnants of a darker age now 

'.Vhappily outgrown, and never in accord with the true 

• • • 

«.:'*' light of Asian thought. 

•• 

Religious beliefs are in India so closel^bound_upjdtk 



social shaervancea-and institutions that the one cannot 
be_modified ^hout^directly involving the other. As 
the organization of the family and of the castes rests 



upon religious authority, any change in the customs of 
marriage^ famU^ proper^ 

conflicted with some iwcepted^socioreligious dogma, 
toward maintaining which intact all tbfijConseEKatise 
fonmot so ciety c oo per a t e. The liberalizing of religions* 
belief, and the unf ett§rja& of -Social action* acgjthfiref pre 
in India usually two aspects of the same movement: to 
rationalize religion and to secure a more endurable 
existence for widows have been purposes constantly 
allied in practice. Without exception, all roligiouo re 
formers have been propagandists of social freedom as 
well — though differing in degree as to, the amou nt of 
social liberty to. be striven for. Vivekananda and his 
associates, dwelling on the spiritual side of religion, and 
conservatives in temper, do not expect much from 
mechanical reform. But Vivekananda himself sped- 



INTELLECTUAL LEADEBSHIP 103 

fically insisted upon freedom of travel and of diet, and 
condemned the spirit of all trammeling conventions. 
Ambitious proposals for new institutional forms of 
society he encountered with less assurance. The work 
of the Somajes tends toward social reform in a preem- 
inent degree. Even the conservative Arya Somaj favors 
the remarriage of widows and similar reforms of family 
law. T{ie Brah moB wage direct war again st the enti re 
casteHsye^m^and itTstfieywEo form the real centre for 
social-reform agitation. 

But there are also secular organisations which pursue 
this same object. The Indian Social Reform Conference, 
which was founded by Ranade in 1887 and which has 
since met annually, has carrried on a systematic agitation 
against enforced widowhood, early marriage, the pro- 
hibition of foreign travel, and various harassing incidents 
of the caste system. Among the leaders of social reform 
must also be mentioned the scholar Vidyasagar, who 
wrote a book on widow-marriage, showing its permiss- 
ibility according to the sacred books; Ananda Mohun 
Bose; and the Parsis Jijibhai and Malabari. The latter, 
a Gujarati poet and lecturer, spent heroic efforts in 
securing the passage of the Age of Consent Act of 1891, 
and in preparing the way for its acceptance by the In- 
dian people. His enlightened independence earned him 
the bitter hostility of the conservatives. In a coun- 
try where a departure from social customs often entails 
the most cruel consequences, such as the severance of 



104 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

family ties, causing bitter pain to friends and dear ones, 
where social ostracism threatens the non-conformer, 
reform is not the mild and smiling goddess which is wor- 
shiped in the West, but rather a stern taskmaster, who 
demands the crudest sacrifices in an austere alternative 
between conflicting duties. Under such conditions the 
activities of the reformer exact qualities of mind and 
character akin to heroism, which can be inspired only 
by an intense courage of conviction. 

Problems of social jife see gyerywhere interrelated - 
w ith m atters plppliticg^ but in India t his connectio n is 
especially: qlnwA; t.he vftrimifl JJelds of iium&n act ivity 

_ have in that_country not yet been rfiffprfrnt.iftt.AH ** +hpy 
have been jn the Weat f and th&jnast$r _facij=ian alien 
political dominance — gives a peculiar col oring t o all 
national problems. In recent years political questions 
have more and more overshadowed all other considera- 
tions, and the leaders of native thought have entirely 
concentrated their attention on political action. In. 

. Hffi^ff nH fy^'fl 1 *?fam t . h *y e n c o u n t e r th e s ullon 
indifference ol themneducated masses. They well-nigh 
despair of accomplishing a regeneration of India in that 

. direction. The social reformers are virtually still occu- 
pying the same position as that held by Rammohun Roy 
seventy-five years ago; they have indeed made progress 
in securing adherents as well as practical results, but 
they have not as yet reached the masses of India di- 
rectly. One- of the jchief effect jaLMteraiyeduc§iion in 



INTELLECTUAL LEADERSHIP 105 

India is th e development of ji spiri t of skepticism, a 
questioningjsL&uthODiy. This questioning was at first 
directed_against thft anthnrity. of native custom and re- 
Ugion.. Atf resent it is directed more and more_AgainsL^ 
the a uthority of the Anglo-Indian Government. It is not 
strange that the Indian youth should apply Edmund 
Burke's invectives against tyranny to political condi- 
tions in India; they are less prone, however, to emulate 
his sage conservatism. 

Hjetoyld.be misleading to attribute the present "un- 
rest" in India to a superficial «%ring up pf ^ people 
^yui7espongible_ agitators* On the contrary, the whnlfi 
impact o f the jstra in of the at tempted a djustment be - 
{jweenjhfi-old and thanew^ the Eaat. and the Weat f > hy 
now J>ecome concentrated upQXLpoliticaLj^atiQns f ^aniL 
all t.hp latont-<liseatisfaetion of a vast soci e ty , p oor and - 
dfpfHfflitj w aAAlfing a vent in political agitation. No 
police action, no methods of repression, can solve this 
difficulty; the danger of a catastrophe can be avoided 
only by far-seeing and statesmanlike action which will 
create a satisfactory basis for permanent relations of 
confidence and mutual respect, combining the mainten- 
ance of British authority with proper concessions to 
the dignity of Indian national life. 

As yet the dept hs of na tive life havejiot been stirred, 
b ut signs are_njejxtiful that the patient masses may be- 
fore long be drawn into the political whirlpools The 
intellectual leaders of India have gradually come to the 



106 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

conclusion that their leadership is exposed to sterility 
on account of the lack of a broad, popular following. 
They may write and talk to their hearts' content, but 
their hearers will be only themselves — already per- 
suaded to satiety. Real power over the destinies of their 
country is denied them by the organization into which 
Indian political life has been cast through the conquest. 
They have therefore concluded that all other considera- 
tions must be postponed in favor of a crusade for more 
power in the hands of the native leaders. They are will- 
ing to "let up" in their attacks upon native abuse in 
order to secure the encouraging support and solid back- 
ing of their less enlightened fellow subjects. Thus the 
ardor for social reform wanes, while political excitement 
is fanned to a white heat. 

jnjijsountoy where thej>pportunitieg for ^am\ a \ n ^ 
^direct influence upon the political de&iniespf the peo- 
ple are so limited, it is natural th$t extra-governmental 
centres and organizations should be creatfidiotiheLdis- 
cussion and agitation of national policies. QLthisjialiira 
Jice.the National nongmw andLthfi. various provincial 
assemblies, as well as minor clubs and meetings. The 
entire literary and social life of India has in fact taken 
on a political tinge. Whenever Indians meet in larger or 
smaller numbers for the discussion of religion, industry, 
social reform, or education, they invariably discuss 
political matters. Thus the platform of such congresses 
has afforded a great opportunity for achieving a certain 



INTELLECTUAL LEADERSHIP 107 
amount of national prominence. It is unfortunate for 



India that this kind of leadership is generally without 
any regular connection with actual public affairs, that 



«• 



it is not tested in practical administration, as is the 
political leadership in most other countries. Yet the 
men who have thus obtained prominence are in many 
respects worthy of the confidence which has been re- 
posed in them. Their chief weakness has been their 
national love of generalization, accentuated by lack of 
training in the responsible conduct of public affairs. 
Thejprocess of meeting year after year to pass the same 
resolutions and to express the aame-ocntimonti, would 
have c ooled the ardor of a less idealistic race; but the 
leaders of India, undaunted by the present barrenness of 
their labors, have confidently looked to a more propitious 
future when the seed they have been sowing shall have 
grown into fruit. In the words of Ghokale, " It is for us 
to serve our country with our failures, it will be for 
future generations to serve her with their successes." 

Yet at present a more impatient mood has seized the 
Indian world. The British -system, with -alL. the Jair 
viceregal promises, has appeared to the natives more 
and more unyielding and supercilious^ -J3o there has 
arisen a group of violent agitators not satisfied with the 
methods of intellectual propaganda to which such men 
as Mehta and Ghokale have adhered. These newer men 
lack all steadying training, they base their action on 
abstract opinions without regard to the intrioate and 



108 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

delicately adjusted facts upon which the Indian system 
rests, and their agitation is considered even by Indians 
as endangering the normal evolution of Indian political 
life. And yet the existence of such radical and un- 
scrupulous agitators is a direct result of the f ruitlessness 
of the conservative reform movement. The leaders of 
Indian thought have come to feel keenly their lack of 
the power of positive action; they know that so long 
as the people remain inert, their congresses may go on 
meeting year after year, passing the same insistent 
resolutions, without having as much effect on the gov- 
ernment of India as the articles in an English provincial 
paper. The popular support so essential to a political 
movement, and through which alone they could bring 
pressure to bear upon the Indian Government, seems 
denied them so long as they confine their efforts to con- 
gressional discussions, to lectures before educated audi- 
ences, and to social reform. The masses care not for 
social reform, nor for political disquisitions. Agitators 
are needed to stir them up; and we may well imagine 
that the arguments used by such persons will be made 
more directly ad hominem than those contained in Mill 
on Representative Government. 

THh Ttgir nt mfafnrt . nnr to I nd ia that hnr tn i n litad r m 
are unable t o reach t he inafl™** wi+h th* i^fo fry wh\ch 
they themselves are inspired, while irres ponsible a gitat- 
ors are appealing to motives, which in turn-may arouse., 
forces beyond the control both^f the leaders 4homsplvna 



INTELLECTUAL LEADEBSHIP 109 

and of the Government. That this system should result 
in a feeling on the part of Anglo-Indians which at times 
approaches panic, is very easily explainable. The ma- 
terials dealt with, while ordinarily dormant, are never- 
theless extremely explosive. 

As the relations of the intellectual ttite to the conduct 
of public affairs are, in the nature of things, a matter of 
subtle influence and delicate adjustment, it would any- 
where be difficult to follow Plato's suggestion and cast 
them into fixed institutional forms. It is indeed of rare 
occurrence in Western countries that men, recognized as 
leaders in the world of thought and culture, are also 
prominently active in governmental affairs. The lit- 
erary men of first-rate importance, who, during the past 
two centuries have busied themselves with political 
administration, beyond the general interest of citizen- 
ship, can be counted on the fingers of one hand ; and of 
these, Goethe administered a large federal estate rather 
than a national government, while BjSrnson was drawn 
into political strife by a crisis of profound importance 
to his country. So distinct is, at ordinary times, the 
official sphere from the leadership in culture that it 
attracted much comment, as a thing unusual, when an 
American ambassador at Berlin maintained intimate 
social relations with men of learning and science. To 
note these instances is, of course, no more than to illus- 
trate the trite fact that specialization, in modern life, 
has a tendency to separate the various classes and bodies 



110 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

of men who occupy positions of leadership. It is not that 
the intellectual element has abandoned politics, but 
that those who devote themselves to politics are in pro- 
fessional matters more or less segregated from other 
leading men, as these again form several groups and 
classes. Strange to say, the country where such a segre- 
gation is least apparent, where general intellectual and 
political leadership are most closely identified, is that 
most practical, unimaginative commonwealth of Eng- 
land. 

In the greatest dependency of Britain, however, the 
relations of intellectual leadership to politics are given 
a unique turn, through the fact that here an intellectual 
aristocracy of ancient pedigree finds itself stripped of 
influence in its own home and sees the seats of power 
occupied by forceful aliens who care little for the things 
of the spirit. Accordingly, in no country of the world 
are the educated udasses so universally o ccupied with - 
political matters as in India at the present time._It 
_would be difficult to mention ^si ngl e Indi a n contemp o- 
rary of great prominence who dons not, £& writer or 
editor or congress speaker or agitator, t a k e p a rt in pol i - ~ 
tics. This condition is not. the result of a powerful 
original^ interest in matters of state, but i t i * o a usod by 
the abnormal conditions in which the country.iinda- 
itself ; just as the political interest of Plato or Dante or 
Milton or Renan was the result of critical conditions in 
the affairs of the societies in which they lived. 



INTELLECTUAL LEADERSHIP 111 

Little opp ortun i ty 18 -afforded th e natives of I ndia to— 

exercise IftftHftrahip through Hirftftt pnaflftaainn nf pnlit.ifjj 

power. The native states are still admi nistered by men 

Of Indian Hflflfiftnt, hut thqy nnntftin fflw pnaitmna nf gr^t 
importance, and tha pmhlftma Hmdt with are rftthftr nf 

local jaterest. Yet in such positions some men have 
earned national fame as successful administrators and 
wise rulers. Such statesmen were hailed as proving the 
capacity of Indians to govern themselves, and their pre- 
eminence was a solace to their countrymen in British 
India who are excluded from high political dignities. 
Among the most notable of these Indian prime minis- 
ters were Sir Salar Jung, who traced his descent back to 
Arab origin, and that Sir T. Madhavao, of Baroda, who 
was in his youth a brilliant student of physics and math- 
ematics, devoting himself to positive, rather than to 
literary and metaphysical learning. We might note 
here in parenthesis that many among the prominent 
leaders of modern India have in a similar manner em- 
phasized the positive or scientific side in their studies, 
as in the case of Dadabhai Naoroji, Mehta, and P. N. 
Bose. 

A career affording greater prominence though less 
direct power than these local premierships, is open to a 
few distinguished Indians, through membership in Par- 
liament and in the Supreme Legislative Council of 
India. Membership in the British Parliament has been 
bestowed upon native Indians only in very exceptional 



112 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

cases; that it should have been done at all by a British 
electorate is a striking proof of the liberal temper of 
English politics. This distinction, when conferred upon 
an Indian, gives him a recognized position of political 
leadership in his own country. For a long time Mr. 
Dadabhai Naoroji, who sat in Parliament from 1892 to 
1895, was looked up to by educated Indians throughout 
the Empire as their most dignified representative. This 
"grand old man of India" is of Parsee descent, and has 
enjoyed a career of great political prominence. For a 
time he was Diwan of Baroda, and thereupon a member 
of the Bombay Legislative Council. The unifying influ- 
ence of the British raj is shown by the fact that some of 
the most prominent political leaders of India have come 
from the Parsee community of Bombay — in numbers 
as insignificant as it is notable for ability in affairs and 
for progressive ideas. The importance of Mr. Naoroji 
in India itself was almost outshone by Sir Pherozeshah 
Mehta, also a Parsee, who for forty years past has been 
active as a political leader, lecturer, and legislator. 
Notwithstanding his conservative and pro-British atti- 
tude, this man has preserved his ascendancy and his 
influence over the public opinion of India. Other Par- 
sees of high reputation are the philanthropists, Sir 
J. Jijibhai and Behramji Malabari, whose work has 
already been referred to. 

The Hindu part of the Indian population finds its 
most prominent political representatives in such men as 



INTELLECTUAL LEADEBSHIP 113 

Gopal Krishna Gokhale, W. C. Bonnerjee, and Lalmo- 
hun Ghose. The latter, who died in 1909, was a man of 
the highest ability, amounting to genius, to which was 
added a great personal charm. He was a leader of the 
legal profession, and as a public speaker was compared 
with Chatham for the sustained brilliance of his oratory, 
nor was he lacking in a sense of humor. Mr. Gokhale, 
a native of Bombay, was in his youth influenced by the 
temper of the Parsee leaders, as well as by the economic 
studies of Ranade. He became Mehta's successor in the 
Imperial Council, where he made a reputation as a dig- 
nified and forceful speaker, and won special renown by 
the clearness of his expression. He possesses a mastery 
of financial questions, and his judgment on financial 
matters has repeatedly been accepted by the Govern- 
ment in modifying its original proposals. Another val- 
uable member of the Supreme Legislative Council is 
Dr. Rash Behari Ghose, who is looked upon as the 
leader of the Calcutta Bar. A career of less prominence 
is afforded by the provincial legislative councils and by 
the municipal magistracies; but even here reputations 
may be won, as in the case of Nalin Behari Sircar, who 
was held to be Bengal's greatest citizen because of his 
public-mindedness and his efficient service to his people 
in less exalted positions. 

jKo ^iiTimiq /^ nrhfah yfi Ijayq gp oken, however, on 
account, of t.hftir purely ft/lv^ry powers, do not affor d 
a completely satisfactory fieldof Activity for the leading 



114 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

men of India. In the administrative branches of the 
Qovernment the boundaries Bet to their ambitions, are^ 
very narrow indeed; ilia unlyiiQ the judicial service that 
a fair chance for distinction is accorded to natives. 1 
We therefore find that native talent often turnsln this" 
direction; and some careers of undoubted usefulness have 
been achieved. Among the names which immediately 
suggest themselves are Chief Justice Romesh C. Mitter, 
K. T. Telang, O. C. Mookerji, Subramanya Iyer, on the 
Hindu side; and among the Mohammedans, Ameer AH 
and Syed Mahmud. These men are all notable for their 
general culture. Justice Syed Mahmud had a fondness 
for quoting Urdu and Persian poetry in his decisions, 
calling upon the graceful muse to soften the decrees of 
stern justice, without detriment to the quality of his law. 
Both he and Mr. Justice Ameer Ali were trained in Eng- 
land. The latter has achieved great distinction as a legal 
and historical writer. His occasional essays in English 
reviews have been justly admired for their clearness of 
diction; yet his command of a fine and expressive Eng- 
lish style is equaled by other Indian literary men. 
The present situation in India Uluatratea^some of 

the Unfortunate resultant t.hft pnlitirml HftppnHpnng of 

a civilized people. Not only politically, but also in 
economic matters, India is kept in a s tate of dependence 

1 In 1903, out of 1307 positions in the higher Indian civil service 
which pay over one thousand rupees ($330) a month, only ninety- 
four were held by Indian natives. The latter are entirely excluded 
from higher military command. 



INTELLECTUAL LEADERSHIP 115 

gp the metropo le. But _the most hopeless feature of 
the situation is that the men who would naturally, hfi 
leaders in government and enterprise,Jin d the mselves 
excluded from opportunities for wrftraimng legitimate 
power in their owncountry. Such a decapitatioBLoLan 
entir e people js ft grp** a^rifi™* ^ ^pw*, w»* ™ raturr^ 

^fortheJalessings of peace and an efficient policing^of the — ~ 
country. The continuance of this policy would mean 

either the total destruction and degradation of Indian 

national life, or the end of the British raj- The policy of 
exclusiveness exercises an unfavorable influence on the 
civil service itself, in that, while a lower type of intel- 
ligence — a merely clerical faculty — is encouraged 
among the native officials, yet these inferior men, being 
of the soil and knowing local conditions, will necessarily 
have a great influence in fixing the character of the entire 
service and the quality of its work. ThfiLCnconrngpment — % 
of higher types of a b ility th™"fft a grPAt.Ar lihAmlity in 
official appointments would thus vit alize the service and 
strengthen its contact with the real forces of Indian life._ 

"TretTromthe point of view of national destiny, the above 
considerations are of less importance than the tendency 
which is thus described by Mr. Ghokale: "A kind of 
dwarfing or stunting of the Indian race is going on under 
the present system. We must live all our life in an at- 
mosphere of inferiority, and the tallest among us must 
bend in order that the exigencies of the system be satis- 
fied/' 



CHAPTER IV 

INTELLECTUAL TENDENCIES IN THE CHINESE REFORM 

MOVEMENT 

To understand the intellectual temper of the great 
movement that is now going on in the Chinese Empire, 
it is necessary to form a clear conception, both of the 
elements in Chinese traditions and native thought which 
are being applied especially to the present situation, as 
also of the manner in which Western civilization is being 
understood by Chinese minds. From the transition 
which China is now undergoing she will undoubtedly 
emerge with deep and far-reaching modifications in her 
traditional system; but it also seems certain that the 
essentials of her civilization will remain Chinese, that 
she will retain whatever is strong and valid in her cult- 
ure, adopting only such institutions and methods of the 
West as may be truly helpful to her national life. 

The ideas developed in Chinese history and philoso- 
phy distinctly favor the view that government ought 
to be the rational expression of the common weal en- 
forced in accordance with the dictates of the popular con- 
science. In the earliest Chinese traditions, preserved for 
us in the historic book of Confucius, supplemented by 
other sources, there is drawn a picture of royal govern* 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 117 

ment essentially aristocratic in character. Throughout 
the two thousand years from 2500 B.C. onward, which are 
recorded in these annals, there is a uniform insistence 
on certain ideals of government. While the Emperor is 
looked upon as the representative of divine authority, it 
is made plain that he endangers his power and the con- 
tinuance of his rule by falling into vices and disregarding 
the duties of his office. He governs, not as a personal 
despot, but in accordance with the advice of princes and 
other leaders who surround him, and especially of the 
Prime Minister, who is selected by reason of unusual 
efficiency and high political virtue. The Emperor must 
practice self-control and not pursue a personal policy; 
in order to discover the right way, he will always wel- 
come the advice and assistance of great scholars. Should 
an emperor entirely fall from grace, so that his conduct 
would leave no hope for ultimate improvement, a revo- 
lutionary act would justly supersede him and put in 
his place a worthier man of tested strength and character. 
Thus it is written of one of these rulers, set up as a 
model to all successors, "that he listened to reproof, 
did not ignore advice, and was altogether in accord with 
the leaders of the people." It was common to assemble 
the princes and leaders of the Empire for consultation 
after the manner of the imperial diets of Charlemagne; 
the earliest assembly recorded was that called by Yu 
at the Hill of Mao, south of the Yang-tze, which there- 
after was known as the " Hill of General Investigation/ 9 



118 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

a name that suggests the " grand inquest " which was the 
origin of Parliament in England. The system developed 
in these centuries recalls the first beginnings of modern 
democracy as conceived by the early French writer, 
Languet; in his view, too, the people should not act as a 
mass, but as organized bodies represented through their 
magistrates, leaders, and princes. 

The welfare of the people is throughout laid down as 
the main aim and purpose of government, and upon the 
manner in which a ruler can hold public confidence and 
find a place in the hearts of the people depends the per- 
manence and usefulness of his rule. An early emperor 
was reproved in these terms: "The people have with- 
drawn their favor and Heaven has turned itself away 
because of your transgressions." In the general conduct 
of life democratic ideals are inculcated, — the avoidance 
of all ostentation, luxury, and display. Thus one ruler 
is admonished "not to set a value on rare things nor to 
belittle such as are useful, for thus you will prosper the 
people." One of the emperors sought everywhere for 
learned and accomplished scholars to instruct and to 
direct his people ; he sought for them also that they might 
afterward give aid to his immediate successors. Another 
said, "It is not so much that I fear the scholars of my 
country will be left waiting outside my gates, as that 
they may pass me by." The respect for intellectual 
eminence, the desire to accept rational advice, and to 
weigh courses of action in the light of wisdom, therefore, 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 110 

go back to the very beginnings of Chinese history, over 
four thousand years ago. When the leader of the first 
recorded revolution (b.c. 1776) began his movement and 
assembled his troops, he addressed them in the following 
words: "This thing that I am about to do is not of my 
choice. It is the decree of Heaven on account of Hia's 
transgressions. Think not that I have no pity for you, 
that I willingly sacrifice your peaceful arts of husbandry 
to bring about the conquest of Hia. I have heard your 
words of complaint, but as I fear the supreme ruler, I 
dare not refrain from this work. If I do not resist this 
evil, how can I look for Heaven's support?" The ideal 
of royalty is summed up in the words, " He who subdues 
others is a lord, but he who conquers himself is a king." l 
The models of conduct, held up in the historical work 
of Confucius for the guidance of Chinese rulers, recall, 
to a certain extent, the ideals inculcated in books for 
the instruction of princes, which were so common during 
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Europe. But 
it is, on the whole, a more vigorous, sane, and generous 
ideal that is contained in these old Chinese works; it is 
broad and practical in its care for the public welfare, wise 
in its reliance upon tried and trusted counselors, humane 
and full of the spirit of severe self-control. A return to 
these early ideals of national government is urged by 
modern Chinese like Wang Chi and Tang Hsi, who are 

1 The wording of passages from the Shu King Jn the above is 
taken from Mr. W. Gorn Old's translation. 



120 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

leaders in a movement that calls for a renaissance of 
the system of the Chow Dynasty, under which Con- 
fucius lived and the ideals of which he embodied in his 
writings. 

In other works of Confucius the same ideals of govern- 
ment are further developed and emphasized. It is said 
directly that "he who gains the hearts of the people, 
secures the throne; and he who loses their hearts, loses 
also the throne. 1 ' The revolution against tyranny, al- 
ready referred to, which ended the Hia Dynasty, is 
justified upon the maxim that "the people's hearts and 
Heaven's decree are the same." In Chinese thought, 
therefore, the principle that the voice of the people is 
the voice of God has been familiar from time immemo- 
rial. The book of Mencius also most clearly sets forth 
these ideas, holding that the only true foundation of 
government is in the hearts of the people. Among 
the most characteristic expressions are the following: 
"Heaven sees according as my people see; Heaven 
hears according as my people hear." "He caused him 
to preside over the conduct of affairs, and affairs were 
well administered so that the people reposed under him; 
thus the people accepted him. Heaven and the people 
gave empire to him." Kingly rule rests on humane 
ideals: "He who subdues men by force is a tyrant; 
he who subdues them by benevolence is a king." Though 
popular in spirit, in their mode of action government 
and society were aristocratic. Mencius sets forth in terms 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 121 

which recall the Indian Bhagavad Gita, that different de- 
mands are made on different men according to their 
endowments and capabilities: "Those who labor with 
their minds rule, and those who labor with their bodies 
are ruled." It has been said that the Chinese ideal of 
government is one of benevolent despotism tempered by *<• 
revolution. It would be juster to say that it is a bene- . 
volent absolutism tempered by constant regard for the 
traditions of the Empire, for local custom, and for the 
sentiments of the people. 1 

While the attitude of Chinese rulers and of the gov- 
erning class has been influenced constantly by the ideals 
set forth by Confucius, the masses of the people have 
been followers of Lao-Tze in name, though with much 
perversion of that philosopher's original thought. The 
social ideals of Confucius have indeed given stability 
and prosperity to the Chinese Empire for thousands of 
years. They are a form of stoicism seeking satisfaction 
in the sense of accomplished duty and in self-centred 

1 The fundamental doctrines of Chinese political tradition have 
been thus summarized by an older writer: " First, that the nation 
must be governed by moral agency in preference to physical force; 
second, that the services of the wisest and ablest men in the nation 
are indispensable to its good government; third, that the people 
have the right to depose a sovereign who, either from active wicked- 
ness or vicious indolence, gives cause to an oppressive and ty- 
rannical rule. These doctrines are accompanied by an institution, 
namely, the system of public service competitive examinations." 
Meadows, The Chinese and Their Rebellions. 1856. For more 
complete extracts from the Chinese classics, see Reinsch, The 
of Chinese Nationalism — Documents and Readings. 1911. 



122 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

character. Yet this self-sufficiency has been carried to 
an extreme by Confucian scholars and public men. 
Great intellectual pride sought expression in these ideals, 
and rendered them more and more formal so that their 
temper departed gradually but decisively from the 
modest and sincere attitude of Confucius himself. Sim- 
plicity became simplicism under which, as a well-under- 
stood and accepted convention, Chinese officialdom, 
with all its corrupt and devious ways, flourished for 
centuries. These doctrines, so simple and flexible in 
their origin, became, in the course of centuries, hard-and- 
fast limitations upon national development. Modern 
China appeals from the more recent to the more ancient 
Confucianism. But while Confucius's teaching was cor- 
rupted in the direction of exclusiveness and artificiality, 
the Taoism of Lao-Tze was more sadly perverted to the 
nursing of an inert superstition, so that modern Chinese 
writers see in Taoist doctrines the chief cause of China's 
weakness and decay. Lao-Tze himself sought in Reason 
the essence of life and guidance in human affairs. He 
discouraged, above all, the assertiveness by which any 
individual would attempt to magnify his importance 
and to interfere with the normal, quiet, and rational 
development of things. This he applied to the conduct 
of private as well as of public affairs. In all pursuits he 
expects more from quietly waiting upon reason than 
from trying to force matters by artificial contrivance. 
" If princes and kings could keep to reason, the ten thous- 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 123 

and things would of themselves be reformed." " When 
one desires to take in hand the Empire and make it, I 
see him not succeed. The Empire is a divine vessel 
which cannot be made. One who tries to make it, mars 
it. 19 Nor does he encourage great striving among the 
people; he would rather keep them in quiet satisfaction. 
"Not exalting worth, keeps people from rivalry. Not 
prizing what is difficult to obtain, keeps people from 
committing theft. Not contemplating what kindles 
desire, keeps the heart unconfused. Hie holy man when 
he governs, suppresses the people's passions, but fills 
their souls. Always he keeps the people unsophisticated 
and without desire. When he acts with non-assertion, 
there is nothing ungoverned." "The ancients, who were 
well versed in reason, did not thereby enlighten the 
people; they intended to make them simple-hearted. If 
people are difficult to govern, it is because they are too 
smart. To govern with designing cleverness is the coun- 
try's curse." But while Lao-Tze discourages the arous- 
ing of ambitions in the people, he too has a popular 
conception of government: "The nobles come from the 
commoners as their root, and the highest rest upon the 
lowly as their foundation." The general ideals of con- 
duct are expressed by the sage in the following terms: 
"The holy man knows himself, but does not display 
himself. He holds himself dear, but does not honor him- 
self." "To be taciturn is the natural way. A hurricane 
does not outlast the morning. A cloudburst does not 



124 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

outlast the day. Even heaven and earth cannot be unre- 
mitting, will not man be much less so?" "A good man 
acta resolutely and then stops. He ventures not to take 
by force; he is resolute but not boastful; resolute but not 
haughty; resolute but not arrogant; resolute because 
he cannot avoid it; resolute but not violent." 

All the pacific elements of Chinese life find in Lao- 
Tze their strongest expression: "He who with reason 
assists the master of mankind will not with arms con- 
quer the Empire. Where armies are quartered, briers 
and thorns grow. Even beautiful arms are unblessed 
among tools, and people had better shun them. There- 
fore, he who has reason does not rely upon them. Arms 
are unblessed among tools and not the superior man's 
implements. Only when it is unavoidable he uses them. 
Peace and quietude he holds high. He conquers but re- 
joices not. Rejoicing at a conquest means to enjoy the 
slaughter of men." This is the foundation of the phi- 
losopher's most notable doctrine of the ultimate victory 
of the weak over the strong, a doctrine which has had 
strange illustration and verification in Chinese history. 
"The weak conquer the strong, the tender conquer the 
rigid." "The compassionate will, in time of attack, be 
victorious, and in defense, firm." "Thus, if matched 
armies encounter one another, the tenderer one is sure 
to conquer." " He who excels as a warrior is not warlike. 
He who excels as a fighter is not wrathful. He who 
.excels in conquering the enemy does not strive. He who 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 125 

excels in employing men is lowly." l In every respect 
Lao-Tze puts forward the ideal of quiet strength, rather 
than of blustering activity and self-assertion. This 
philosophy gives expression to those elements in Chinese 
popular character which have made it possible for that 
huge empire to exist in rarely broken peace for thousands 
of years; which have also caused the gradual assimila- 
tion of the conquerors who from time to time attempted 
to influence the destiny of China. If Confucianism is the 
philosophy of the Chinese higher ranks, Taoism is the 
religion of the masses, industrious, frugal, and patient 
to inertness. But to the party of national advance at the 
present this quietism seems evil and dangerous. While 
expressing some fundamental qualities of Chinese char- 
acter, the doctrines of the sage have indeed also been 
perverted in a notable manner. Human indolence, in- 
ertness, and weakness have sought consolation in them 
disregarding all the deep strength which underlies these 
teachings; while the sublime doctrine of Reason as the 
all-powerful force, has been used in a manner almost 
unbelievable to support the most degraded and irra- 
tional practices connected with sorcery, incantations, 
and amulets. It is against these parodies of the teach- 
ings of the sage that modern China is protesting. 

The political ideals and practices of the Chow period 
have been further set forth in the Choiv-IA, the cere- 

1 Doctor Paul Carus's translation of the Too Teh-king has been 
followed in the above extracts. 



126 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

monial institutions of the Chow Dynasty (1122-255 
B.C.)- This ancient book contains a detailed account 
of the entire imperial administration in all its parts, 
giving the functions and duties of a veritable army of 
officials. The historic character of this work has not 
been entirely defined. By many it is believed, like the 
Republic or the Laws of Plato, to be merely an effort to 
construct an ideal syBtem of administration. But leav- 
ing aside the question as to how far the institutions 
described were actually put in force, the book may 
safely be taken as indicating the political ideals of the 
time, ideals which would undoubtedly, in many cases, 
rest upon practice. The promulgation of laws is described 
in the following manner: "On the appointed day the 
sovereign addresses the officials present in the audience 
hall and proclaims the law to be in force in the kingdom; 
the chief elders of groups of six towns and their next 
subordinates receive the law in turn through the grand 
astrologer. A full audience must be given by the sov- 
ereign to these important chiefs for the purpose of re- 
peating the law before enforcing it in the townships." 
It is further provided that the opinion of the people 
must be considered, especially on such important ques- 
tions as dangers threatening the nation, migration 
within the country, and the election of a sovereign in 
case of a failure of succession. Many means are provided 
by which the people may express their opinion before 
ministers or the king. Debating platforms are main- 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 127 

tained and information is gathered from the town cham- 
bers. In this manner, in both legislation and in the con- 
trol of finance, there was a certain participation of the 
popular elements. Official ordinances of the various 
ministers of state were publicly posted in prominent 
places before going into effect; and they would be with- 
drawn if decidedly disapproved by the people. Budget- 
ary forecasts of income and expenditure were also sub- 
mitted by the proper officials. Every three years a gen- 
eral examination of the morality and skill of the people 
was held as a basis for promoting in rank those who were 
notable for merit. The various towns also elected men 
to act as their representatives in managing their local 
affairs. The institutions thus outlined might be de- 
scribed as a limited monarchy with responsible officials 
acting in consonance with an active public opinion. The 
Chow-Li is at present specially appealed to by those 
whose political aims take the tendency of reviving the 
ancient institutions and popular liberties in China. Con- 
sidering its age, the book is entirely unique on account of 
its comprehensiveness in the allotment of political func- 
tions to a large number of officials and in the balance 
which it establishes between the different component 
parts of the state. 

It is, of course, impossible in this place to review the 
entire development of Chinese thought and institutional 
practice. We can consider only those elements which 
are becoming salient features in present political dis- 



128 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

cussions and tendencies. In passing, we ought, however, 
to glance at the views of the famous social reformer, 
Wang An-shih, who was prime minister for some years 
after a.d. 1068. He proposed and partially introduced 
an extensive system of reform which recalls modern 
socialistic ideas. In order to eliminate oppression of the 
poor by the rich, the Government was to purchase the 
entire surplus of production and distribute it virtually 
at cost. Taxes were to be paid the state in the products 
of agriculture and industry, and poor men were to be 
enabled to obtain land through government advances. 
Public works, heretofore constructed by forced labor, 
were to be paid for out of the proceeds of an income tax; 
in the levy of this impost great difficulties were, however, 
encountered in ascertaining the actual income of the 
subjects. Altogether, though given a fair trial, the sys- 
tem did not succeed in China and was soon abandoned. 
Henceforth similar ideas and institutions were looked 
upon by Chinese literary and public men as ill-conceived. 
It is indeed strange and paradoxical that in a country 
where the isolated individual means so little, where 
the community is everything, a socialistic experiment 
should, after all, have been so complete a failure. How- 
ever, China is strongly a laissez-faire country, although 
it is not the individual, but the family, clan, and town- 
ship, that are individualistic and resist augmentations 
of public authority. 
A political writer whose views are also entering into 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 129 

the composition of present Chinese political thought is 
Wong Li-chow, who wrote at the time of the decline of 
the Ming Dynasty, about 1625 a.d. His work shows 
how far Chinese kingship had departed, in the course 
of centuries, from the earlier ideals, and it is now used 
by the adherents of reform to point the moral of insti- 
tutional decay and to argue for a return to the purer and 
saner practices of earlier ages. According to Wong Li- 
chow, the earlier kings were men who, at the cost to 
themselves of great pains and much exertion, undertook 
the work of advancing public good in the midst of a gen- 
eral selfishness. These heroic leaders toiled immeasur- 
ably more than the rest of the community. Accordingly 
there were many men who refused to take up the burden 
of kingship, others voluntarily abdicated, while still 
others performed their duties reluctantly. In later days, 
however, the idea of kingship has changed. Kings now 
believe that they have a right to claim for themselves 
all that is good and to put all burdens upon others. 
What the king desired in his selfishness, he compelled 
others to recognize as existing of right. So he finally 
came to regard the state as his property, descendable 
to his heirs; while in the earlier days the state was prin- 
cipal and the king subordinate, the latter devoting his 
whole life to labor for the public good. At present every 
true principle has been reversed; in fact, kings have 
gone so far as to use their exalted office merely to pro- 
vide gratification for their low desires. Thus it has come 



130 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

about that the people are sacrificed for one man's satis- 
faction; and they, therefore, hate the king to the last 
extreme, regarding him as the common enemy. Neo- 
Confucianism has supported this supreme development 
of absolute power in maintaining the theory of the king's 
divine right and denouncing the dethronement of even 
the worst tyrants. This is certainly a perversion, for 
why should one man or family be privileged to the detri- 
ment of an entire people? Great dangers arise from such 
ideas and practices, for, if the whole country is regarded 
as one man's property, others are made covetous to 
acquire it. Thus many ambitious persons arise who 
aspire to its possession; one king can never stand against 
all these, no matter how strong and clever he may be. 
Sooner or later his descendants must pay for his mis- 
deeds with their very bodies, so it may come about that 
to be born into the royal family may seem a disaster. 
The selfishness of kings has unsettled all government. 
When the duties of a king were defined and well known, 
the people yielded the kingship to a chosen leader. Now, 
however, anybody may aspire to be a king. 

Wong Li-chow especially bewailed the abolition of 
the premiership. The Neo-Confucianists, who exag- 
gerated royal power, were opposed to the king's sharing 
his authority with a responsible prime minister. For- 
merly the kings were only the first of officers, but in 
later days they became so vain through flattery that 
they considered it beneath themselves to be ranked 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 131 

together with other public servants. So the important 
position of premier was abolished. Under the old 
regime there was mutual respect and confidence between 
king and officers, and the sovereign showed special re- 
gard for the ability and importance of the prime min- 
ister. Little by little, however, the king came to believe 
that the officers were created exclusively to serve him, 
rather than to assist him in serving the state. Thus the 
original idea of public service was lost, and officialdom 
as well as royalty suffers in consequence. A very serious 
result, too, is that in case the heir is a minor there occurs 
an interregnum in which the Government is rarely in 
efficient hands. In ancient time the kingship was virt- 
ually elective, open only to those who were most not- 
able for character and ability. At a later period the evils 
of hereditary kingship were still somewhat counterbal- 
anced and a shadow of the ancient principle of an elective 
royal head was preserved in the premiership. Now even 
this has been abolished and there is nothing to take its 
place. The grand councilors are only the private secret- 
aries of the monarch; they entirely follow the wishes of 
the court, and have not the personal importance and 
responsibility of a great public official. As a matter of 
fact, the retainers and attendants of the court, men with- 
out public character and responsibility, have under this 
system come to exercise the ministerial power. The 
supreme influence in government must rest somewhere, 
and it is but natural for the court attendants to step 



132 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

into the place left open through the abolition of the 
prime-ministership, and to exercise the powers of pun- 
ishing, pardoning, appointing, and administering public 
affairs. The grand council is itself dependent upon the 
good will of these underlings. Thus the corruption of 
the entire administrative system is due to this change. 
It is only when the Emperor is surrounded by great and 
responsible personalities, men of influence and power, 
that he can be induced to follow the exalted example of 
the ancient rulers. 1 

The writings of Wong Li-chow are read at present 
with great interest, not only because they set forth the 
ancient ideals of public life, but because the evils they 
describe notoriously abound in the circles that are power- 
ful in the Empire. But from the depressing diagnosis of 
Wong Li-chow and the pessimistic inactivity of later 
Taoism, the Chinese have turned with joy and hope to 
the pages of Wang Yang-ming, a great writer who flour- 
ished under the Ming Dynasty. He was a philosopher 
who embodied his theories in his character and tested 
them by action, when, as a general, he commanded the 
imperial forces in putting down rebellion, and when, as 
an administrator, he governed the people. His philo- 
sophy is informed by the practical knowledge acquired in 
a long, active life. This philosopher of action had fallen 

1 The translation of the writings of Wong Li-chow, Wang Yang- 
ming, and Tan Sse-tong, upon which summaries in this chapter 
are based, was made for the author by Mr. Tsai Chu-tung. 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 133 

into relative oblivion in China, when, a century ago, 
the Japanese rediscovered him and found in his pages 
the inspiration that carried them far on the way to new 
national life and strength. His works were at that time, 
and have been since, read even more intently in Japan 
than those of Confucius himself, and among his latter- 
day followers Admiral Togo is cited as a most ardent 
devotee. His revival in China is even more recent, fall- 
ing within the last decade; but the Chinese found in him 
what they needed most, inspiration to an active life and 
to what would be, compared to their former passive atti- 
tude, aggressive firmness. His works are no longer stud- 
ied only by the learned, but they are being multiplied 
in thousands on thousands of copies and spread broad- 
cast over the land, so that every schoolboy is becoming 
familiar with the old Ming general and philosopher. 
A certain insight into his ideas is essential to an under- 
standing of the present temper of the Chinese people. 
Wang Yang-ming has suddenly become a modern author 
in China. We shall, therefore, go a little more fully into 
the theories of this writer than has so far been done in 
any Western language. 

The thought of Wang Yang-ming contains two car- 
dinal principles, — one, the theory that knowledge and 
practice must not be divorced, the other, that every man 
with his individual mind should strive to investigate the 
principles of things in themselves. His practical philo- 
sophy is, therefore, a combination of what later became 



134 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

known in the West as Positivism and Pragmatism. In 
these practical implications of the philosopher's doc- 
trine lies the secret of his great importance to the pre- 
sent age, when a philosophy of action is called for, and 
when the Far East is becoming wearied of the crush- 
ing weight of authority. Wang Yang-ming stands for 
individuality in reasoning, for the application of an in- 
dividual criterion to the phenomena of life. Each mind is 
to work out its problems on the basis of its own nature; 
trueness to life and to one's self is what he insists upon. 
But the knowledge thus acquired must be subjected to 
the test of action; only thus can it be proven to have 
more than a subjective validity. The life of contempla- 
tion must be supplemented by the life of action. It is 
this call to action that is so stirring to the contemporary 
Oriental world. 

In considering the philosophical doctrine of Wang 
Yang-ming in its entirety, we shall, however, be im- 
pressed with his moderation. The principle of individual- 
ism, which we have seen to be inherent in his practical 
philosophy, he modifies by insisting upon the need of 
general human sympathy. In many ways his philosophy 
is representative rather than original. He is representa- 
tive of his own times, and was moreover especially influ- 
enced by certain philosophers of the Sung Dynasty, 
such as Chang Ye-chuan and Loo Hsiang-shan, adopting 
from them the ideas concerning the individuality of 
every man's own nature and mind. Details in his thought 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 135 

will recall, not only other Chinese philosophers, but also 
Western thinkers like Plato, Descartes, and Hegel. 
Nevertheless Wang Yang-ming's philosophy is of un- 
doubted originality in its point of view and in the spe- 
cific and harmonious character which the philosopher 
has given his thought. His treatment is profound and 
his individual arguments are most effective. 

Mind, according to Wang Yang-ming, is the sole 
universal and rational principle which is actualized in 
the multiplicity of individual forces and existences in 
the material world. As the latter is simply an external 
manifestation or product of reason, so the relation of 
mind to matter is described by Wang Yang-ming as that 
of root to effloresence, of unity to multiplicity, and of 
reality to phenomenon. In this sense he interprets the 
ancient saying that "Man is the heart of the universe,' 9 
a different phase of Descartes's thought, "Cogito ergo 
sum" But in virtue of the principle of vitality, mind is 
itself pluralized. In the midst of a plurality of visible 
existences, our mind may easily lose its former identity 
and is therefore liable to corruption. The means to 
avoid this, Wang Yang-ming works out in his practical 
philosophy. Reason he also calls the absolute principle, 
and he holds that reason alone exists, anticipating 
Hegel's similar theory stated in the reverse,that whatever 
is, is reasonable. Viewed from its actualization, reason is 
called Nature; from its ever unceasing changes, it is 
called Fate or Destiny; from its character as design or 



136 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

order (cosmos), it is called God; from its conscious in- 
dividuality, it is called Mind. All these are but different 
denominations for one and the same reality. Mind is 
thus noble of origin and connected in its most intimate 
being with the divine, rational, all-seeing, all-knowing. 
Knowledge is its innate attribute and its very essence, 
as it involves the grasp within it of all existence. More- 
over, all the virtues, such as uprightness, temperance, 
and justice, are but different phases of the activity of 
mind in its relation with that of other individuals. Just 
as the same man may be father in respect to one and son 
in respect to another person and yet retain his identity, 
so virtues, with all their varied demands on character, 
are but the expression of the relation of an unchanging 
mind to others. Self-centred mind is, therefore, the sole 
criterion of everything in the universe. As long as mind 
is in its original uncorrupted state, we can and should 
reject whatever is not consistent with it, even when it is 
maintained by Confucius, and accept whatever is consist- 
ent with it, although it may come from the lowliest of 
human creatures. Never before was the independence 
of individual mind from authority, in all its decisions 
and judgments, so strongly asserted in Chinese literature. 
As mind dwells in a sensuous body, and is, therefore, 
subject to be influenced by impressions and desires, it is 
constantly in danger of allowing its identity to be swal- 
lowed up. Moreover, the continuous effort to maintain 
one's individuality in the face of antagonistic and oppos- 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 137 

ing elements, tends to obscure and destroy the feeling of 
spiritual unity among different individuals. When this 
feeling of homogeneity has been weakened, the unity of 
mind is split up by individual desires and loses its force; 
therefore, the way to preserve one's mind in its original 
quality and brightness is to retain the feeling of identity 
of all mind, by cultivating sympathy and compassion 
with others. The ideal man in the true sense of the word 
is he who is conscious of the essential identity of his 
mind with reason and, therefore, with the external 
world, including all sentient or insentient beings. Such 
a man makes no distinction between you and me, be- 
tween his own body and that of his neighbor, but looks 
upon them all alike as the expression of the same inherent 
force and eternal principle. Sympathy is, therefore, in- 
nate in mind and is an essential quality of it. If no 
obstacle is placed in the way of the activity of the mind, 
sympathy is ever present; but when we forget all others 
in the pursuance of our own selfish interests, we limit our 
mind and exclude ourselves from reason by restricting 
our fellow-feeling. But even in such cases the original 
mind still remains active, and on some occasions flashes 
its intelligence upon us, giving us an opportunity to re- 
claim our true self. It will be seen that Wang Yang- 
ming's insistence upon the free action of mind in the 
individual is limited by the conception, common through- 
out the Orient, that all existence is identical, and that 
there is, therefore, no real distinction between indiv- 



138 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

iduals. Their suffering, as their joy, is common, and to 
cut one's self off from this unity in isolation and in the 
pursuit of self-seeking aims is to suffer a loss of the true 
quality of mind or reason. In the Indian epic, the sage 
persuades the opposing armies to abstain from warfare 
by proving to them their identity with each other; this 
same idea inspires the Chinese general and man of ac- 
tion, though he is the greatest Oriental individualist. 

The belief in the common bond of humanity moder- 
ates also Wang Yang-ming's philosophy of action, 
which is developed in the following terms: The mind is 
in direct possession of true knowledge/ which cannot 
be separated from action, but is constantly striving to 
express itself in deeds. " Knowing is the motive of act- 
ing; and action, the realization of knowing. Knowledge 
is the beginning of action, and acting is the completion 
of knowing." Though a man may say that he knows the 
duty to be obedient to his father and faithful to his 
friend; yet, unless he can translate into action what he 
thinks and what he knows, he cannot be said truly to 
possess that knowledge. To say that we know a thing 
without having tested it by action or being ready to 
test it in that manner is self-deceit, and such self-deceit 
is a betrayal of our humanity. It is this part of Wang 
Yang-ming's philosophy that has sounded a trumpet 
call to action; its stirring impulse is being felt by all the 
Far Eastern nations. Quietism, renunciation, and other 
inert modes of thought and temper are abandoned in 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 139 

favor of a more active and aggressive conduct of life. 
It is certainly a remarkable instance of common impulses 
moving the entire civilized world, when such theories of 
the actualization of thought are acclaimed in the Orient 
at the same time when the philosophical and ethical 
thinkers of the West are being attracted by Pragmatism. 

The high favor which Wang Yang-ming's writings are 
enjoying with the Chinese public at the present time is 
due in part also to his belief in equality among men. 
He arrives at this position from the point of view of 
rationalism. As we have seen, he considers mind as the 
same in all human beings, obstructed in some by vice 
and lack of firm endeavor, in others revealing itself in 
greater purity and strength; but in all equal as to its 
essential qualities. All differences in human minds are 
artificial and the result of long-continued diversity of 
training. It is this belief in the fundamental equality 
of men that attracts to Wang Yang-ming those who 
are striving for democracy. The intellectualism of 
Confucius is very aristocratic in the tendencies it has 
developed in Chinese life. Like Buddha and like Christ, 
Wang Yang-ming believes in equality; but his Chinese 
followers point out that his theory does not rest upon 
mystic elements, such as the universal fatherhood of 
God in Christianity, but is a purely rational doctrine 
derived from the character of the human mind itself. 

The tendencies of modern Chinese thought are con- 
cretely illustrated in the career of a man, who, called to 



140 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

high office at a critical time, sealed his beliefs with his 
own life-blood. Of the six martyrs who laid down their 
lives on the scaffold after the coup diktat in 1908, Tan 
Sze-tong is the most conspicuous, both in character and 
in learning. He sprang from an ancient and illustrious 
clan in Hunan. His father, who had held important 
positions of honor and trust, including the governorship 
of Hupeh, was a man of strict integrity, but of conserv- 
ative views. Tan Sze-tong's early life was far from happy, 
for his mother died when he was a small boy, and he was 
left dependent upon a stepmother, who had no love or 
consideration for him. But the bitterness of these years, 
which might have made other men spiritless, became a 
blessing in his case. He emerged from it a hardy, 
thoughtful, and strong-willed youth. In his later days 
he told Liang Chi-chao that, had he not been left under 
the harsh rule of his stepmother, he could never have 
understood the depth of misery to which humanity is 
subjected. Tan Sze-tong used his time to such advantage 
that at the age of twenty he was well versed in ancient 
philosophy and the classics, and had won distinction 
in his province as a forceful and deep writer. He was 
fond of athletic exercise, worshiped chivalry, and was 
skillful in sword-fight. 

Tan Sze-tong prepared himself to understand the 
world he lived in by making extensive travels through- 
out China proper, Chinese Turkestan, and Formosa, 
carefully studying the local conditions in all the places 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 141 

he visited. At the close of the Chino-Japanese War he 
had come fully to realize the weakness of his country 
and the necessity of reform. Entering upon leadership 
in many directions, he established educational associa- 
tions in his native province and founded normal schools 
and a military academy. He inspired the local govern- 
ment with new life, urged the importance of opening 
mines and building the Canton-Hankow Railway, and 
established a steamship service on the local rivers. He 
gave frequent public lectures, and at regular intervals 
discussed political and economic questions with the 
scholars of the capital of Hunan. Hearing that Kang 
Yu-wei had formed a "self-help league" in Peking and 
Shanghai, he went to the latter town for an interview 
with the leader. After a long conversation, Tan Sze- 
tong declared himself to be Hang's disciple and pledged 
himself to support his master's policy. In 1908, when I $<! ? 
the Emperor was collecting his reform cabinet, Tan was 
summoned to Peking; and after a brief audience, he was 
appointed to the Grand Council, together with Lin Yo, 
Yang Yu, and Lu Kang-te, the other men who were de- 
stined to be martyrs in the coup d'&at. With his support- 
ers in the Council, Kang Yu-wei hurried to put into 
execution his long-cherished reform schemes, persuading 
the Emperor to issue the well-known edicts. But the 
opposition to these innovations was so strong that the 
reformers feared the Empress would be carried back to 
power unless they succeeded in forcing her into absolute 



142 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

seclusion. They counted on Yuan Shih-kai to assist with 
his troops, and Tan communicated to him the secret 
policy they were pursuing. The outcome was disaster 
to the reformers, as Yuan cast his lot with the partisans 
of the Empress Dowager. 

This fatal reverse was borne by the reformers in a 
dignified spirit, and Tan Sze-tong exhibited in these dark 
days the noblest side of his character. During the last 
critical time, when it was known that the Empress 
Dowager had reassumed power, some distinguished 
Japanese scholars advised Tan to escape to Japan with 
them. To this invitation he replied in the following 
words: "We need men to perpetuate our policy; we also 
need men to die for the purpose of showing our apprecia- 
tion of what the Emperor has done. Liang Chi-chao is 
now in the Japanese Legation, and will thus be able to 
preserve our policy, so I shall take upon myself the other 
duty — that of dying; moreover, martyrdom must al- 
ways precede revolution. The weakness of China is due 
to the fact that there have been no martyrs for the cause 
of freedom and reform. Shall I not be the first martyr? " 
We' here encounter an expression of that deep faith in 
the value of sacrifice which is so common in contempo- 
rary China. Tan waited for his arrest in his room for 
two days. Both in prison and on the execution ground 
he maintained his usual calmness and was most cheerful, 
as if he were going to his reward. 

Tan Sze-tong's philosophy is a combination of Con- 



rwt 



C CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 143 

fucianism, Christian ideals, and Buddhism, with, how- 
ever, particular preference for the latter. He wrote quite 
extensively, but his thought is best expounded in a little 
volume styled Benevolence. He agrees with the three 
great religions named above in the conception that 
benevolence, sympathy, and love are the foundation of 
all virtue in social relations. In its practical applica- 
tion, this benevolence calls for the abolition of all arti- 
ficial arrangements restricting free intercourse, mutual 
service, and helpfulness among men. 

Our writer first applies these general principles to the 
field of commerce, and pronounces himself most strongly 
in favor of free trade among nations. The advantages 
which commerce gives to the seller and the buyer are 
equal in quantity and quality, though different in form. 
Thus, when Western nations ask for world-wide trade, 
they confer a benefit on all mankind. Their commerce 
benefits the Chinese as well as themselves; though the 
balance of trade should be against China, it is still to 
her advantage to keep up the trade, for in that case the 
Westerners would supply economic wants which must 
be satisfied and would receive in return only money, 
which, by itself, cannot appease hunger nor quench 
thiret. It may be argued that the purchasing power of a 
country is destroyed after the exhaustion of its money 
supply* This theory may be true with regard to coun- 
tries that have no mines, but it cannot be applied to 
China whose mineral resources are beyond estimation. 



144 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

Why should not China let her people open all her mines 
for the benefit of herself and of the world at large? It is 
only the foolish and the drones that ascribe the poverty 
of China to her intercourse with the outer world. 

There are two aspects or phases of the policy which 
should be adopted to regulate the relations of China 
to foreign countries. The first is to foster industry, to 
encourage business, to stimulate manufactures, and to 
open the country to the outer world. Under this policy 
China shall be able to give something to the rest of man- 
kind in return for what it receives. There will then be 
an equal distribution of wealth throughout the world 
and we shall at no time find ourselves in want. The 
second policy is for the Chinese to concentrate upon up- 
lifting and helping themselves; though it may seem less 
noble than the first one, this should not be considered as 
a narrow, selfish course of action, for self-help is only 
another form of benefiting others. Whoever helps him- 
self, relieves his former benefactors* from taking care of 
him, and thus enables them to direct into new channels 
the energies hitherto spent to help him. A man lives 
in the world for others, as well as for himself. Even so, 
if a nation should daily receive benefit from the outside 
without thinking of making any return and should 
remain in a position of idleness and poverty, it is un- 
pardonably guilty of violating a fundamental principle 
of natural law: namely, the reciprocity of services. In 
this case the outer world would be justified in extinguish- 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 146 

ing the existence of such a country. So benevolence 
means free intercourse between all peoples in all things. 
China has a duty to mankind which she must perform 
sooner or later. She must strengthen and reform her 
organization so as to be able to do her part in the work 
of the world. 

In the second part of Benevolence, Tan Sze-tong 
attacks absolute monarchy most relentlessly, reflecting 
the social contract theory of Rousseau and the ideas of 
independent public action developed by Wang Yang- 
ming and Wang Li-chow. As the form of absolutism 
which exists in China to-day was established as the result 
of indifferentism on the part of the people in matters of 
politics and their generally peaceful and non-assertive 
nature, he looks for the salvation of China in the revival 
of the ancient spirit of chivalry. As the love of country 
increases, the pliant attachment to absolute rule will 
pass away. He holds the Government responsible for 
the humiliations and indignities which the outer world 
has inflicted on China. Then follows a very complex 
passage in which the author's pride in the great poten- 
tialities of his country and his sense of justice and love 
of freedom form a singular combination. China is weak, 
indeed, but he feels that it is a good thing for the world 
that she is weak while still governed under absolutist 
principles. He says, "It is fortunate for humanity that 
the Chinese soldiers did not and could not fight. If the 
Chinese army were as strong as the German, and the 



146 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

Chinese navy as efficient as the English, woe were to the 
world! The white race, the black, and the brown must 
then be doomed. A government which considers it right 
to oppress its own people could not tolerate any other 
nations. For this reason it is not too much to say that 
God has willed that the outer world should slight, harass, 
and insult us, and overthrow us altogether; nor is it an 
irony to assert that, in causing us to appear weak and 
miserable to the world, God is only doing the best He 
can for our own good; He confers upon us a benefit under 
the guise of misfortune. Unfortunately for China, as 
well as for the rest of the world, the Chinese are now 
crying for vengeance. Such an attitude shows our fail- 
ure in justly measuring ourselves and can result only in 
hindrance to our natural growth." 

In the remaining pages of this little work, Tan com- 
pares the relative merits and the possible effects of the 
three religions, Christianity, Confucianism, and Bud- 
dhism. While recognizing the merit of each and seeing 
that they all aim at the same object, — namely, uni- 
versal salvation, — he regards Buddhism as the best in 
theory and easiest of application. He says that Buddhism 
not only levels to the ground all forms of casual inequal- 
ity, but also leaves a man free from the restraint of 
the artificial conception of Heaven and Hell, which is 
characteristic of Christianity. The superiority of Bud- 
hism he ascribes to the condition of the time when it 
originated. The thought of this man, truly Oriental in 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 147 

elements and form, nevertheless yields a result which, 
together with his action during his life and the temper 
of his martyrdom, gives us an insight into the com- 
plexity of the present Chinese intellectual temper, and 
indicates* the many points which, with all differences, 
it has in common with our own ideas. Tan Sze-tong is 
an energist like Wang Yang-ming, but his desire for 
strength and efficiency is moderated by a deep sense of 
justice and the belief in sympathy and benevolence. 
These men, who are trying to build up and rejuvenate 
the forces of the most ancient empire, are not animated 
by the unbridled ambition of a Napoleon; they would not 
follow Nietzsche in his extreme views; but their thought, 
with all its longing for energy and strength, carries in it 
the feeling of a deep human sympathy. 

Another writer whose ideas are important in the com- 
position of contemporary intellectual life in China is 
Chang Pin-lin, who is reputed the leader of Chinese 
philosophical revolutionists. He is editor of The People, 
the principal organ of the revolutionary party, and has 
written extensively both in the form of editorials and 
books. The complete system of philosophy is set forth 
in a book called Chin (reconstruction). It is interesting 
to note the attitude of this thinker towards Confucius. 
While he gives Confucianism credit for its undoubted 
merits, he asserts that this system is not in itself a suf- 
ficient safeguard against political corruption and moral 
perversion. Indeed, Confucius set himself against the 



148 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

manner in which the aristocrats of his time monopolized 
the whole power of government and attempted to train 
his disciples in political action. He even succeeded in 
reducing the power of the privileged class and in secur- 
ing some political rights to the common people, but he 
was too peaceful and timid a man to enter upon a move- 
ment for the entire overthrow of oligarchic power. So he 
turned out advisers, but not masters; he manufactured 
servants, but not men. The result of his teaching in 
China has been to spread the belief that a man's ability 
to render service to mankind is completely dependent 
upon his success in securing a position under a prince. 
"Office fever" and "money disease" are the fatal evils 
with which the Chinese body-politic has long been in- 
fested; and they are not discouraged by Confucianism. 
Chang Pin-lin is convinced that the chief need of 
China in the present crisis is strong religious feeling; 
and it is in Buddhism that he sees those elements which 
are most in harmony with the aspirations of an Oriental 
democracy. He admires especially the social ideals of 
Buddhism, its belief in absolute equality among men 
based upon the essential being of human nature, the 
exalted spirit of independence which it imparts, as well 
as its teachings on service and sacrifice. The identifica- 
tion of mind with Buddha he considers of especial value, 
because it exalts and dignifies each individual as having 
within himself the highest principle of thought and life. 
This view recalls the ideas of Wang-Yang ming, and it 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 149 

is, of course, also related to Stoic thought and to modern 
rationalism. It is interesting to see how Chang recon- 
ciles the spirit of nationalism with the universal love and 
brotherhood of the Buddhist ideal. He interprets na- 
tionalism as a desire of the people to free themselves 
from all oppression that violates human nature, retards 
progress, and creates artificial inequalities. In his view, 
nationalism must pursue universal moral aims in order 
to justify itself. This shows that Chang Pin-lin is essen- 
tially a humanitarian who looks upon national organiza- 
tion as only a means toward a higher and more compre- 
hensive purpose. 

In looking back over the elements which Chinese lit- 
erature and traditions supply in the present critical 
times, we see in them a wealth of materials from which 
many tendencies of thought and action might draw in- 
spiration. Yet the temper of China at present is such 
that all these older traditions and philosophies will be 
read from the point of view of extensive popular rights 
in the government of the Empire. As Neo-Confucianism 
interpreted the classics so as to favor the growth of 
absolute power, this new revival of Chinese nationalism 
will seek in them strong and decided support for popular 
rights. The idea of a kingship of limited authority, 
based upon public service and surrounded by respons- 
ible and capable ministers, is in accord with modern 
demands. The Emperor is still the Son of Heaven, but 
that title indicates high duties, rather than exclusive 



150 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

and invidious privileges. The Government must exert 
its powers, not for the gathering of means for the satis- 
faction of the selfish desires of officials and rulers, but 
for the development of the country and the welfare of 
the people at large. Before arriving at important deci- 
sions, it will allow itself to be guided by public opinion 
expressed now more perfectly in institutions of a parlia- 
mentary character. Such, in outline, are the political 
ideals of the present which seek and find support in the 
older traditions of the Chinese Empire. But they also rest 
upon a continued popular practice, as will be brought 
out in the chapter on the constitutional movement. 
Revolution in China has always been looked upon as an 
entirely legal procedure ; in almost the same way as it was 
viewed by Locke, who saw in it the enforcement of a 
higher law through joint action and common consent. 
Adherence to the ancient ideals of Chinese polity is 
interpreted in many different ways by the various groups 
into which Chinese men of thought and action are 
divided. All but the crassest reactionaries are ready to 
reject the narrow formulae of Neo-Confucianism and go 
back to the original fountain-head in the writings of the 
sage. The hard crust of artificial interpretation is thus 
broken, and thought is brought into more direct relation 
to the needs of life, viewed from many different angles. 
The Constitutional Reform Party values the teachings 
of Confucius for the moral ideals they contain, rather 
than for the specific forms of government therein de- 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 151 

scribed. While human nature is ever the same, subject 
to the same moral duties and practical requirements, 
the conditions of life are alwayB changing and to them 
the forms and practices of government have to be 
adjusted. Thus, while the men who hold this opinion 
retain the monarchical principle so strongly established 
in Confucianism, they insist upon the creation of a real 
parliament with more than advisory powers, which 
would reconcile the existence of imperial office with 
popular rights. Confucian standards are thus not slav- 
ishly followed, but applied with a great sense of freedom 
to the present conditions of Chinese public life. It is but 
natural that the interpretation given to the ideas of the 
sage, as well as the apportionment of emphasis, should 
be governed by the dominating desire for effective pop- 
ular institutions. While adhering to Chinese traditions 
and desiring their permanence, the moderate reform 
party is, therefore, open to be influenced by Western 
ideas and is ready to accept from the West such methods 
as will be helpful in Chinese development. Incidentally 
the classic movement of to-day stands for a much 
broader interpretation of the inherited teachings. The 
Confucian revival is accompanied by an inquiring dis- 
position, by a search for truth, and is far from accepting 
uncritically the orthodox interpretations and comment- 
aries of the past. The leaders of the movement seek to 
apply Confucian thought in the light of their own ex- 
perience and with reference to the present needs of China. 



152 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

There is another movement which is far more con- 
servative without therefore being unintelligent. Eu 
Hung-ming, in a brilliant book just published, calls this 
tendency the "Chinese Oxford Movement," in analogy 
to the opposition which Newman led against the new 
theology. Chang Chih-tung was the man who most 
prominently represented this tendency in public life. 
Himself one of the select experts in the Chinese classics, 
he was, indeed, willing to accept Western industrial 
processes, but stood for the maintenance of Confucian 
ethical and political ideals. Ku Hung-ming, who sings 
his praises, nevertheless brings out the fact that the 
great viceroy really favored a double morality, that of 
Confucianism for the Chinese as individuals, but for the 
nation, the adoption of the new learning and methods of 
modern Europe with their intensely competitive tem- 
per. The movement here described has its stronghold 
among the Hanlin scholars, who, as an imperial academy, 
exercise the conscious guardianship of Chinese culture. 
Their feelings against Western civilization are quite 
intense. They abhor its materialistic tendencies, the vul- 
garizing and cheapening effects of some of its methods. 
According to Ku Hung-ming, the moral basis for the 
anti-foreign spirit of the true Chinese literati is that they 
view foreign civilization as hideous, vulgar, and demoral- 
izing. Their interpretation of Confucianism is, there- 
fore, not such as to encourage the wholesale adoption of 
institutions modeled upon Western experience. They 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 153 

admit that China is in need of a movement to restore 
the purity of her moral constitution, but they are not so 
favorable to extending the idea of popular consent so as 
to shift the centre of governmental authority from the 
imperial administration to an elective parliament. They 
might accept many of the things proposed by the Con- 
stitutional Reform Party, but their whole point of view 
is different and their aims are focused upon the main- 
tenance of Confucian civilization in its purity, of whose 
dynamic possibilities they have a high conception, as 
witness the words of Ku Hung-ming: " Confucianism, 
with its way of the superior man, little as the English- 
man suspects, will one day change the social order and 
break up the civilization of Europe." 

The political and social movements of modern China 
are not accompanied by any parallel developments in 
religious feeling. The official world sees in Confucianism 
a sufficient moral and religious code for the education of 
Chinese youth and does not show any special interest in 
any other forms of belief. But the injunctions of Con- 
fucius constitute, after all, to follow Ku Hung-ming, 
"the way of the superior man," a kind of Stoic's faith, 
although they have also influenced the masses of the 
population. The latter, however, find less sober and 
sapient beliefs attractive, and have turned to Buddhism, 
Taoism, and Mohammedanism. The restriction of the 
authority of the Dalai Lama of Thibet — which meant 
the downfall of the independent political power of 



154 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

Buddhism — led to a certain weakening of its influence 
among the higher classes in China, with whom, indeed, 
it had never been very strong. But, on the other hand, 
the decline of the superstitious hierarchy of Thibet 
is looked upon by many as a blessing, as it allows the 
purer forms of that faith to assert themselves and to 
develop in China. That a new era has begun for Bud- 
dhism, not only in southern Asia, but also in China and 
Japan, is apparent. The higher elements of Buddhist 
philosophy are so fully in accord with the demands of 
Western science, while yet so completely expressive of 
Oriental ideals and modes of thought, that throughout 
the East men feel a pride in calling their own a system so 
notable. The Buddhist revival is now only in its first 
stages, and it is too early for us to be able to form a con- 
ception as to its ultimate bearing. It is, however, sig- 
nificant that among the most prominent apostles of the 
nationalistic movement in China, there are a number 
who accept Buddhism and express great confidence in its 
future. Such are, for instance, Chang Pin-lin, Liang 
Chi-chao, and Wong Chi, as well as Tan Sze-tong, 
among the martyrs of 1898. These men and their asso- 
ciates have attempted to bring Chinese Buddhism back 
to the older, purer form of worship and thought. Just 
as Confucianism is to be purified of unnecessary and 
extraneous elements imposed upon it through the inter- 
pretation of centimes, so Buddhism is to be freed from 
superstitious and unscientific accessories. 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 155 

Of all Chinese religions, Taoism has fewest friends 
among the progressives. This system of beliefs and 
practices has departed so far from the rational stand- 
ards of its founder that it is utterly incompatible with 
scientific knowledge, unless indeed it might be able to 
undergo a marvelous regeneration. The growing nation- 
alism of China demands that Taoism should render itself 
more pure and efficient, and turn its back upon those 
practices which are irrational and superstitious. It has 
been said that in China, Buddhism has taken from Tao- 
ism whatever was good originally in that faith and has 
given it in return its own evils and weaknesses, together 
with its monastic organization. Between popular prac- 
tice in Buddhism and Taoism there is indeed little to 
choose; but it is in the return to the great traditions and 
pure sources of the South-Asiatic faith that the national- 
ists see hope and helpfulness. 

The Chinese, and more general Asiatic, elements 
which we have here reviewed are now confronted by 
Western civilization. Thus we are led to inquire in what 
manner and to what extent the influence of the West has 
become active in China. In general it is undoubtedly 
true that the Chinese intellectuals maintain a similar 
position toward Western thought to that held by the 
Hindus. Looking upon their own philosophy as all- 
sufficient for high cultural purposes, they are yet will- 
ing to acknowledge that for practical ends, and especially 
for the needs of national defense. Western science may 



156 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

furnish much of value. It is necessary, therefore, to 
distinguish between the West as consisting of complex 
institutions, methods, and processes, dominated by the 
principles of exact science, and the West as a system of 
beliefs, conceived as an attitude of mind. The former is 
quite generally accepted; the latter rejected. The im- 
mense technical mastery of the West is admitted. Its 
moral grandeur, the sincerity of its rules of conduct, the 
validity of its philosophical ideals, are doubted. There 
is in all Oriental countries an advance guard of thinkers 
and investigators who are intimately familiar with 
Western philosophy, but even among these the majority 
acknowledge its value only as a variant expression of the 
concepts and ideals contained in Oriental thought. On 
the other hand, there are also those who draw from this 
concord the conclusion that the concepts and beliefs of 
all humanity are fundamentally harmonious, that races 
differ only in details of custom and method. 

At first sight it would certainly seem that of all Asi- 
atics the Chinese are, through their traditions and train- 
ing, best prepared to enter into the scientific positivism 
which is now dominant in the West. They certainly have 
been trained to take rational views of conduct and of 
human relations; and while natural science had not been 
developed under the old regime, human activities had 
been subjected to study and analysis. The Chinese 
mind was trained in the rigorous school of classicism. 
Although there was a vast amount of work for the mem- 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 157 

ory to do in the learning of commentaries on the classics, 
we must not forget the refinement of mental processes 
and powers implied in the critical study of literary mas- 
terpieces and in literary construction. With minds thus 
prepared, the Chinese enter upon the study of Western 
science fitted with many intellectual qualities that favor 
rapid progress. The fields of thought and action in 
which the defects -of the old training are perhaps most 
evident are those which relate to economic and social 
affairs. In these it is more difficult to banish the old 
superficial, unscientific methods of reasoning than it 
would be in engineering or physics. Consequently we 
note that even the more capable public men in China 
often lack a grasp of economic and financial principles, 
and are at times satisfied with the most puerile notions 
of economic organization. This defect has stood in the 
way of a readier solution of such pressing problems as 
those regarding the currency and taxation. 

In rendering Western works accessible, writers like 
Yen Fu, — the translator of Huxley, Spencer, Adam 
Smith, and Montesquieu, — Liang Chi-chao, Wong- 
Chi, and Wu Kuang-hien have done a great service. 
These men were confronted by enormous difficulties 
because it was necessary for them to create a new scien- 
tific vocabulary in the Chinese language, but they and 
their assistants have succeeded within the last decade 
in supplying China with a good, workable library that 
affords a key to the scientific achievements of the West. 



168 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

Credit is also due Sin Chin-nan, a fellow provincial of 
Yen Fu, for his admirable rendering into Chinese of the 
novels of Scott, Dickens, Dumas, Hugo, and other 
Western writers. 

As strong nationalism is always associated with the 
historical way of seeing things, whether it be in Greece 
or in Britain, in Chile or Japan, conversely, a non- 
national civilisation is always unhistoric. This was emin- 
ently true of China; though she had annals in plenty, 
they were dry and unprofitable catalogues of deeds and 
happenings, unilluminated by any sense of national 
development. But with the dawn of a new era, writers 
began to view history as a necessary element in national 
self-consciousness. Liang Chi-chao, the most important 
literary exponent of nationalism, has directed his atten- 
tion to historical work; and Chinese history is now be- 
ginning to be studied by others in a critical and scien- 
tific manner. Moreover, national history has become 
one of the principal subjects of instruction in the schools. 

In order to get a bird's-eye view of the intellectual 
activities of the present, it may be well to glance at the 
different intellectual interests, even those not so directly 
connected with political reform. The principal centres 
of literary life lie in the middle and southern parts of 
China, in cities like Canton, Shanghai, Kwangchow, 
Wuchang, and Changsha. The Japanese Yokohama has 
also been* a centre of literary influence, being the resid- 
ence of leaders in opinion, who, temporarily exiled by 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 159 

their own or governmental action, continued to influ- 
ence their country from a distance; this city has, there- 
fore, been called the Geneva of contemporary Chinese 
literature. 

Among the political writers of the nationalistic move- 
ment, Kang Yu-wei and Liang Chi-chao undoubtedly 
hold the primacy. Kang Yu-wei, the leader of the ex- 
treme party of reform, published political memorials 
and manuals, as well as an account of his travels. Liang 
Chi-chao is the most voluminous writer of the group. 
He is a journalist, a historian, a delineator of character, 
and a critic of political action. In a sense he may be 
called the Fukuzawa of China, seeking as an effective 
teacher to introduce the public mind to the thought of 
the great world. A follower of Kang Yu-wei, he has 
gradually outgrown his master's programme, though 
denounced by the radicals as being too moderate in his 
political demands. At first he was quite antidynastic, 
and had to live for a while, an exile, in Japan. More 
recently he has confined his efforts to preaching the doc- 
trines of constitutional government and representative 
institutions. The editor of the National Civilization 
Magazine, Wong-Chi, also deserves a prominent place 
among those who are endeavoring to teach the Chinese 
people. He has given special attention to history and 
biography and attempts in this way to awaken a more 
positive national self-consciousness. 

The growth of journalism in China has been one of the 



160 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

chief agencies of political agitation and reform. The 
more radical journals naturally sought the protection 
of the treaty ports and of the foreign mail systems. But 
in most parts of China, daily and weekly journals, as 
well as monthly reviews, have suddenly become an 
almost indispensable means of information and of 
moulding public opinion. Hence the tone of the contem- 
porary Chinese press is exceedingly serious. Questions of 
political and cultural life are discussed with intensity 
of feeling and a desire to get at the truth. The nation- 
alistic movement has used the press as the strongest in- 
strument of its propaganda; political views were devel- 
oped in the editorial columns, official action reported 
and criticized in the accounts of current news; a strong 
effort was made to inspire the public with a more intense 
interest in national regeneration by going into foreign 
affairs and reporting events, public action, and progress 
in other countries. The cartoon also came into use, and 
everything connected with the Government was graphic- 
ally pictured, very often with merciless satire. These 
pictures exercised a great influence in arousing public 
opinion by spreading progressive ideas in such a manner 
that they could be understood even by those who could 
not easily read a political discussion. Shanghai became 
the chief seat of newspaper enterprise, both on account 
of its central position, as also of the fact that editors 
there enjoy the sanctuary of the foreign settlement, and 
thus feel free more candidly to express their ideas on 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 161 

official malpractices or needed reforms. Thence the 
papers found their way to the interior, where they were 
studied in shops and yamens, even within the walls of 
the forbidden cities themselves. 

Innumerable periodical publications sprang up, and it 
would be impossible to give a complete account of these 
enterprises here. Among those which have achieved 
most prominence are the Western Times (Shi-poo), pub- 
lished under Japanese protection and representing the 
views of Liang Chi-chao and Kang Yu-wei. It was for 
a time the vary gospel of the progressive movement in 
China. The opinions of the literary class may be found 
in the Shanghai Journal (Shang Poo). Originally con- 
servative, this paper has modified its tone as the literati 
have gradually become more favorable to reform. It 
gives special attention to educational affairs and is 
strongly nationalistic in tone, at times even anti-dynas- 
tic, and openly hostile to all extension of foreign influ- 
ence. The party of progressive reform students used the 
Universal Gazette (Shung^airjih-yao) as its organ of 
expression, until it was bought over by the Shanghai 
taotai. Among other journals recently organized we 
may mention the South China Journal, the National 
Herald, the Sin Wan Poo, The People, and Heavenly 
Warning. Second in importance as a newspaper centre 
is the city of Canton. Its journals, conforming to the 
general temper of the southern province, are almost all 
liberal and progressive in their policy. A very strong 



182 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

influence is exercised also by the fortnightly and monthly 
magazines, such as the National Civilization Magazine, 
of which Wong Chih is the editor, and which aims to 
develop national sentiment by arousing an intelligent 
interest in Chinese history and biography, in addition 
to contemporary affairs. Others are the National Spirit 
Magazine, the New Citizen's Magazine, the Foreign Be- 
view, and the People's Organ, the latter controlled by 
radical revolutionary tendencies. 

Educational and other associations, such as the So- 
ciety for the Preparation of Citizenship, have also done 
important work in rendering accessible to wider circles 
the information necessary for active and efficient part- 
icipation in public affairs. This association was founded 
by Chang Su-oom, a wealthy resident of Shanghai, 
immediately after the Throne had promised the grant 
of constitutional government. Though its membership 
is professedly open to all, its active members come mostly 
from the ranks of rich merchants and of literary men. 
It has received official patronage and financial support, 
which, together with the contributions of the members, 
enable it to distribute many treatises on constitutional 
government and local administration. Having secured 
the cooperation of the Chinese chambers of commerce 
at home and abroad, the association undertook the task 
of preparing a code of Chinese commercial law. It has 
also taken an active part in the propaganda for parlia- 
mentary institutions. 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 163 

While reviewing agencies for the diffusion of learning 
and information, mention should be made of the pub- 
lishing houses which now flourish in China. Most promin- 
ent among them is the Commercial Press of Shanghai, 
which has published a large number of foreign and Chin- 
ese treatises; its output of schoolbooks is specially not- 
able. Several important geographical and biographical 
writers are connected with this house, and a staff of 
translators is kept busy providing materials from for- 
eign languages. The era of public libraries has not yet 
commenced in China. The library of the great Hanlin 
Academy at Peking is open only to officers and high 
literati. A few of the political and cultural associations 
have, however, established libraries, some of which are 
open to the public. 

Interest in literary work for its own sake has very 
much declined in China at the present day. It is diffi- 
cult to find a man of letters writing for purely literary 
purposes. With the coming of the new learning, there 
has been a marked decline in the traditional spirit of 
literary culture, and very few men at present follow 
learning for its own sake. Men of literary talent are, 
indeed, to be found in official life, in educational work, 
and the public enterprises of the gentry; but even in 
these activities the proportion of scholars is lower than 
under the old regime. The present age in China is be- 
coming too journalistic. There has been a strong reac- 
tion from the earlier over-emphasis on form or style, 



164 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

and much of the present output of printed matter is 
written in a way which older men think worthy of con- 
tempt. Elegance of style is abandoned in the cultiva- 
tion of other qualities, substantial or superficial, which 
are demanded by writing articles on modern affairs. 
Some encouragement in the way of maintaining higher 
literary standards has, however, come through the 
issuing of popular reprints of many classics which were 
hitherto not easily accessible. 

The definitive effect of the new movement on literary 
standards and production has therefore not yet declared 
itself. There has, however, been a great deal of indis- 
criminate borrowing from all kinds of sources. The fond- 
ness for literature inspired by the old traditions of China 
has not abated, but it cannot be said that any distinct 
tendencies of modern literature have emerged. Europ- 
ean letters have thus far had but a superficial influence 
in China. It is always interesting to note what books 
will be first translated. Chinese editors and translators 
have judged that the following would best respond to the 
curiosity and intellectual wants of their public: Harriet 
Beecher Stowe, Rider Haggard, Dumas, Hugo, Scott, 
Bulwer-Lytton, Conan Doyle, Jules Verne, Gaboriau, 
and Zola. That being so, we must needs submit to 
having our literary tastes and standards judged for a 
while according to the impression made by these writ- 
ers. It seems to be quite generally true that the books 
first translated are tales of adventure or the artificial 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 165 

products of romanticism. It is only slowly that Oriental 
readers learn to care for or come to understand a Thack- 
eray or an Anatole France. 

The contemporary drama of China is not without 
interest. Departing for some length from the traditional 
classic standards, although retaining the methods of the 
Chinese stage, dramatic authors and actors of the pre- 
sent try to influence thought by portraying scenes that 
have a distinct political or social significance, teaching 
by example and holding up the mirror to the life of the 
present. Liang Chi-chao attempted to familiarize the 
popular mind with ideas of political change by dram- 
atizing the reconstruction of Italy, bringing forward 
Mazzini, Garibaldi, and Cavour as characters on the 
stage. Many contemporary plays are founded on actual 
occurrences, which are dramatized immediately after 
the event. The Chinese theatre evidently feels a call 
to interpret actualities and to give expression to public 
opinion. Though the plays deal with contemporary 
events, they retain the traditional forms of the Chinese 
stage, with no cutting in length, so that usually several 
evenings are taken up with the performance of a single 
drama. The plays are full of action, but are generally 
quite devoid of plot; interesting current events are 
picked up and dramatized with readiness and skill. 
As these plays are important documents for the under- 
standing of the present momentous period in Chinese 
history, when the popular intelligence is arousing itself 



166 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

to far-reaching action, it may be appropriate to glance 
for a moment at one of these performances. 

Nearly everything with which the Chinese mind is at 
present busy is touched upon in the action of one even- 
ing; the drilling of troops and the exhibition of their dis- 
cipline, the feeling against the use of opium, the move- 
ment for the abolition of footbinding among women, all 
come in for treatment. Educational reform is dealt with 
directly or referred to incidentally in connection with 
the irrational worship of josses and unnecessary offer- 
ings to idols; the implication being that the money thus 
spent should be invested rather in educational institu- 
tions. But it is the political situation of China which is 
given most attention. The abuses current in Chinese 
administration are satirized without mercy; official in- 
capacity and corruption are exposed. The privileges of 
the foreign residents in the extra-territorial concessions 
of the treaty ports, which are most distasteful to patriotic 
Chinamen, also come in for condemnation. Opportunity 
for enthusiasm is given by frequent allusions to reform 
and especially to the creation of a national parliament. 
The audience enters fully into the spirit of the play and 
expresses its concurrent sentiments through frequent 
and loud applause. Thus it will voice its approval when 
a thief is sentenced to receive only fifty blows, while a 
seller of opium is given double that penalty, or when 
representatives of the Chinese Government refuse to be 
held responsible for damages caused by disorder within 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 167 

the foreign concession limits. The strange mixture of 
ancient and modern elements, of political discussion and 
commonplace occurrences, will be illustrated by the 
following brief outline of an ordinary play recently 
performed. 1 

The play opens in Canton with Wong, the hero, bid- 
ding farewell to his guardian grandmother at the time 
of his departure for Shanghai to seek his fortune in com- 
merce. Great filial piety is expressed in the respectful 
obeisance to the spirits of the ancestors and to their 
living representative. The grandmother's careful advice 
and sorrowful leave-taking are interrupted by the 
steamer's whistle, which calls for the hurried departure 
of Wong. In the next scene appears Ye, a compradore 
of the Netherlands Bank, who is reflecting in soliloquy 
upon the sad condition of China, nationally and locally. 
Conceiving himself powerless to remedy national affairs, 
he resolves at least to better the local situation by 
founding a Chinese volunteer company, an idea which 
is heartily seconded by his fellow merchants. The 
scene changes to a grocery in Shanghai. A family 
argument is in progress. The proprietor is remonstrating 
with his wife regarding her large and profitless expendit- 
ure for idol worship. He receives much applause from 
the audience for his arguments against idolatry and small 
feet, but his wife, conservative as her sex in general, is 

1 A report of this play was communicated to the author by 
Mr. Horatio B. Hawkins, of Soochow. 



168 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

leas affected thereby. Wong has meanwhile obtained a 
clerkship in a large export firm and has become promin- 
ent as corporal in the volunteer company. While on 
the way to drill he meets the grocer's wife and her ser- 
vant; they are being menaced by some ruffians who had 
mocked their ceremonies and attempted to steal their 
religious offerings. The rascals are put to flight by the 
heroic Wong, who, after the departure of the women, 
puts his squad through a number of drill manoeuvres. 
The grocer's wife, having returned home, relates her 
misadventures to her husband, who now takes an even 
more decided attitude of skepticism. This is followed 
by a night scene in the same house, where the men of 
evil, who had discovered the abode of the woman, 
attempt to scale the wall in order to loot the premises. 
The women awaken and call their lord and master, who, 
when he sees the danger, cries loudly for assistance from 
the very gods whom he had scoffed. He disappears 
under the furniture and directs the maid to look for 
help. At this critical moment Wong appears on the 
scene and begins to knock down the burglars one by one; 
he, however, gets into a terrible struggle with the head 
ruffian, who draws his knife and inflicts many wounds, 
from which the hero expires. Then follows a court scene, 
preceded by a soliloquy of the magistrate, who moral- 
ises upon the political situation in China and bewails 
the general corruption and inefficiency. The murderer 
is thereupon brought to trial and punished. The play, 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 169 

extremely naive in its story and incidents, was, never- 
theless, in detail true to life and in every way realistic. 
It dealt with actual personages, some of them in the 
audience, and with living facts; actors who had assisted 
in the work of authorship took part in the presentation. 

As this account of an evening's entertainment incid- 
entally shows, the public conscience of China has of 
late become distinctly political, and national thought 
expresses itself chiefly in the form of political reasoning. 
Literary criticism and construction, philosophical writ- 
ing, and even to some extent the consideration of social 
problems and institutions, are rather in the background 
when compared with political thought. The nation is 
intensely conscious of the need of giving political form 
to its institutions and ideas, to the end that the Chinese 
people may stand forth as one of the great personalities 
in the world to whom the future belongs. 

It is natural under such circumstances that the most 
radical views should attract attention out of proportion 
to their real intrinsic value. Though they may not be 
followed by great numbers, they are talked about most. 
In studying the contemporary revolutionary literature 
of such countries as Russia, Persia, and China, it is in- 
teresting to see how books, which with us had done their 
work a hundred years ago, and which are now resting 
as pensioned veterans on our library shelves, assume 
again in these distant regions the character of potent 
revolutionary forces. Their thoughts, which we coolly 



170 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

study and analyse as historical data, inflame the youth 
of China to heroic sacrifice and rash action in behalf of 
ideals which to them are blushing with the glory of the 
morning. So our now rather sedate friends, Rousseau 
and Tom Paine, experience a new birth and enter again 
upon a state of militancy. In all such great movements 
there is a time when Rousseau is taken as the source of 
inspiration and guidance; by his side, however, Napo- 
leon also is often worshiped, as the embodiment of na- 
tional force. The portraits and busts of these two men 
are common in the Orient, and Rousseau's ideals are 
much valued. The form which is assumed by the polit- 
ical tendency that disengages itself from these enthus- 
iasms is one of thoroughgoing resistance to all established 
authority. There must be a clean sweep before institu- 
tions and actions can be established upon a proper 
basis, — that is the belief of the revolutionaries; and 
when the new government is to be constructed, it must 
rest upon universal suffrage and be republican in form. 
The chief agitator in this revolutionary propaganda is 
Doctor Sun Yat-sen, who has organized a secret society, 
. Ka Ming-tang. The protagonists manipulate the move- 
. ment from Japan and other neutral neighboring coun- 
tries. As the society is secret in its organization and 
work, it is, of course, impossible to get accurate data 
about its strength. The claims which it puts forward as 
to the number of its followers are, however, generally 
regarded as exaggerated, and it is also felt that the 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 171 

organization, should a critical struggle come, could not 
hold together its many divergent branches. 

A number of local outbreaks have been organised in 
recent years to further revolutionary principles. Such 
uprisings attract the lawless elements, just as the early 
Taiping movement did. When a local revolt of this kind 
is started, there is considerable disorder, some fighting 
and assassination; but the chief sufferers are the com- 
mon people of the affected district, who are treated with 
little regard by either side. After a certain amount of 
panic, the officials conquer and some executions take 
place. Meanwhile the instigators of the uprisings, at a 
safe distance, intrigue and manipulate in order to start 
similar trouble in some other quarter of the Empire. The 
natural consequence of such outbreaks is to strengthen 
the reaction and to bring about for a time rule by fire 
and sword. Revolutionary writings, full of immature 
theories and perverted statements, circulate widely 
among the student class. They have a great influence 
upon the young and inexperienced, and often alienate 
from the true interests of the country energies needed 
for carrying on its work and assuring its salvation. 

While dwelling on the evils of revolutionist propa- 
ganda in China, we ought, however, not to overlook the 
fact that the revolutionary leaders are apparently gain- 
ing wisdom with experience. Their propaganda assumes 
gradually a more constructive, republican character; 
and their opposition is now directed chiefly against the 



172 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

permanence of the Manchu Dynasty. Leaders of the 
movement have recently been in the United States, 
there gathering funds among Chinese residents. They 
are attempting an organization which will include many 
men in higher walks of life; young sympathizers are to 
be assisted to gain official position, so as to be able to 
dispose of influences favorable to the movement. This 
would indicate that the leaders aim at bringing about 
the changes they desire by more pacific means. 

Among the students who have gone to Japan, there 
have been many who have used the knowledge acquired 
there in an attempt to assist in the upbuilding of educa- 
tion and industry at home; but there are others who 
have fallen under the influence of radical theories. 
Spending little time in serious study and being satisfied 
with a mere smattering of facts, many of these youths 
readily fall victims to agitators, who promise them 
abundant scope for action, resulting in glory to them- 
selves, in excitement, and in great political upheavals. 
The temper of these young men is well illustrated by a 
recent conversation with a returned student, who spoke 
about Chinese history and compared it with that of 
Europe. He pointed out that Europe had been awakened 
to her present strength and efficiency through the French 
Revolution and many years of bloody struggles. Since 
then her progress in civilization has been very rapid. 
China, on the contrary, cultivated peace, and for ages 
has been stagnant and unprogressive. The Europeans 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 173 

fought for their rights and founded the constitution of 
their country with their blood. The first remedy pre- 
scribed for China, therefore, is to rise in revolt against 
the present government; only by such means can true 
liberty be obtained. 

* This view of the French Revolution and of revolution- 
ary movements in general has gained a remarkable hold 
on the minds of the young and energetic, not only in 
China, but also in other countries, which are in a state 
of transition, like Persia, Turkey, and Russia. National 
advance is interpreted as the direct result of forcible 
action and bloodshed, and it is entirely overlooked that 
the modern progress of Europe rests upon the peaceful 
development and quiet labor of centuries; that it is the 
result of that combination of tendencies and structural 
factors which we call "Western civilization"; and that 
the bloody movements, while indeed outbursts of great 
energy, were useful only in that they removed obstacles, 
but were not in themselves the source of sustained 
strength and progress. This theory of the beneficence 
of revolutions, originating from a superficial reading of 
history, has, nevertheless, taken a deep hold in China, 
not only among students but among other classes. It 
has been condensed into a proverb, "Blood must flow 
before any improvement can come. " This notion has 
already been, in individual cases, the cause of heroic 
though needless sacrifice; the end of its influence is 
not yet seen, and should affairs become more critical, 



174 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

it may move large masses to rash action. A comical and 
almost pathetic incidental effect has been witnessed in 
cases where individuals, feeling the injustice of things, 
have petitioned for redress or improvement and, though 
stopping short of the Japanese hara-kiri, have chopped 
off one of their limbs, or at least a finger or a toe, in 
order that such bloodshed might help to effect their pur- 
pose. It is notable that such immolation always makes a 
strong impression, not only upon the populace but even 
upon officials, who feel that there is a determined energy 
back of it. So the sentiment that "blood must flow 
before things can be better" has become a very active 
and widespread superstition. 

That the young men who are actuated and influenced 
by these views of revolution are often inspired with 
truly noble ideals and have a certain amount of wisdom, 
was exemplified by the advice given by a young noble to 
Viceroy Tuan Fang. This student, educated in Japan, 
himself the son of a high official, had been imprisoned 
on account of implication in the revolutionary move- 
ment in the province of Anhui. He wrote a letter to the 
Viceroy, in which occurs the following passage: "In our 
radical movement we simply do our duty, in urging the 
Government to decree a constitution for the welfare of 
the people. Our country would then not meet with the 
fate of India or Korea. If this great object can be ob- 
tained, we shall be happy even though our bodies be 
torn to pieces. The purpose of my action here has now 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 175 

been totally destroyed, and I am willing to be punished 
according to the law of the country ; but before my death, 
permit me to say a few words of advice to His Excel- 
lency Tuan. Our campaigns have already spread to 
every part of the Empire and our followers number 
thousands. These people have no fear of death; should 
one be executed to-day, ten would rise to-morrow. I 
hope His Excellency will show more mercy to the fol- 
lowers after punishing one or two of our leaders; other- 
wise, the tide of revolution will rise so high as to sweep 
everything before it. Our country is now in a very dan- 
gerous situation, the Powers are watching her as their 
prey. Thus while the brothers of the family are fighting 
against each other, burglars break into the house and 
take away their property." This youth, willing to strug- 
gle and to suffer, was, after all, only fighting against in- 
tolerable evils and was not aiming merely to overthrow 
and destroy. The presence of this constructive insight 
will save many of the younger men from interpreting 
revolutionary ideas in a purely negative and oppositional 
sense. 

Before 1906, every reformer was prima facie a revo- 
lutionary, although there were many who in fact simply 
believed in moderate reform. The Government up to 
that time frowned upon any views that would indicate 
* desire for modifying things, but since then a great 
change has come about. In the edicts of 1906 and 1907, 
the Government gave way to what had finally impressed 



176 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

it as a fundamental popular demand, and decreed the 
gradual establishment of administrative reforms and 
representative institutions. The controlling classes of 
Chinese non-official society had also come to a clear 
intelligence that the nation needed a more efficient 
political organisation. The reform movement was, 
therefore, taken up by the literati and the gentry in 
general, who now began to form an actively progressive 
element in the Chinese Empire. This development put 
the avowed revolutionists outside the pale; they were 
deprived of the monopoly of progressive ideas and 
charged with the odium of counseling irregular and dan- 
gerous methods. The opinion of the progressive Chinese 
was influenced less by Rousseau's theorism than by the 
knowledge of the actual needs of China gained through 
experience in affairs, and by a desire to utilize foreign 
models in accordance with the well-ascertained demands 
of the situation. The gentry and the possessing classes 
quite universally adopted these views, and began to 
urge upon the Government a more positive policy than 
the officials had thus far been ready to adopt. So the 
moderate progressive party continued, in a modified 
and somewhat less rancorous form, the attacks upon 
official incompetence, which had been begun by the 
radicals. But while the beginnings of parliamentary 
institutions have been founded and the first meetings 
of deliberative bodies have been held, the progressive 
elements have thus far neither evolved a perfected party 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 177 

organization nor has definite leadership developed. The 
first session of the National Assembly, indeed, gave op- 
portunity for the display of oratorical talent, but so far 
no men have emerged as acknowledged leaders of the 
progressive movement. In all parts of Chinese affairs, 
governmental as well as popular at the present time, 
there is a lack of men whose personality and power 
command that absolute respect and exercise that moral 
authority which ought to be associated with political 
leadership. 

Through the development of a moderate progressive 
tendency, the revolutionary and radical movements 
have been driven underground even more than before. 
They now operate almost entirely with those subterra- 
nean and circuitous methods to which the Chinese have 
long been familiar in various branches of social life. No 
one who knows the situation in China will flatter him- 
self that the danger of fundamental upheavals is en- 
tirely past. The Government lives under the odium of 
defeat and insuccess. Every measure taken against 
popular movements, no matter how necessary it may 
be in fact, adds to the bitterness and to the estrange- 
ment between dynasty and people. The Government's 
adoption of progressive ideas was undoubtedly oppor- 
tunist, and the progressive party in China believes that 
the effective establishment of the various reforms that 
are planned can be brought about only by means of the 
action of representative institutions; so there is constant 



178 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

friction, even between the Government and those 
classes which are most disposed to uphold law and order. 
The appeal to the classics, which is so universal at the 
present time, is, as we have seen, favorable to the ideals 
of government by moral agencies and with the enlist- 
ment of the services of the wisest and ablest men of the 
nation, rather than to a further emphasizing of loyalty 
toward the sovereign. Nor can the Manchu Dynasty, 
being foreign, ever count on that long inherited and 
instinctive loyalty which the Japanese feel toward the 
house that has headed the nation ever since the dawn 
of history. The absence of a national dynasty in China 
is the most important individual factor in the present 
political situation. To make up for this weakness, the 
Government, in supporting the dynasty, must seek to 
give full effect to the demands formulated by the select 
representatives of the entire Chinese people. For this 
reason it is confidently expected by the Chinese pro- 
gressives that the powers of the new parliament will be 
more substantial than those of the Japanese Diet. 

China is experiencing at the present time a great 
movement of thought and spiritual energy, complex in 
its ramifications and including a great diversity of psy- 
chological elements. The overpowering tradition of the 
past takes on a new form and meaning when brought 
into contact with the needs of the living present. The 
diverse tendencies of the re-adaptation of these Oriental 
ideals to new forces, the substitution and application 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 179 

of European experience, and the influence of European 
social and political ideals; — upon all these matters the 
Chinese mind is working, utilizing the classic training 
of the past in the attempt to bring harmony into 00 
many conflicting elements of thought and action. Oc- 
casionally also original ideas arise out of this tumult of 
intellectual forces. Yet beneath it all there lie as a dark 
mass the instincts and customs of the millions of Chin- 
ese people, who think and reason little, but whose im- 
pulses must be counted on as ultimately decisive in a 
great crisis. The polished rationalism of the Confucian 
scholars, the ardent debates about the old and new, the 
influence of European thought and example, are all but 
on the surface of the vast deep. This sea of humanity is 
still moved by other forces; how the people will act as 
the crisis develops the Chinese leaders themselves are 
not able to forecast. The Chinese people are extraordin- 
arily industrious, frugal, and patient; they have only 
little breadth of horizon, and cling most tenaciously to 
the customs of their little sphere; but when at times 
their long-suffering comes to an end, they are moved by 
tempestuous furies that defy all rational control. They 
stop short of nothing until, in their rage and defiance, 
they hurl themselves against a wall of rock. It is such 
elemental outbursts that the leaders and friends of China 
fear most, during these years of national preparation 
when irretrievable injury might be done. To compre- 
hend the psychic situation created in China by the 



180 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

momentous changes of the present is impossible. All we 
can hope to do is to see manifestations here and there 
which may give us an inkling as to the tendency of evo- 
lution and then to watch the gradual or perhaps rapid 
unfolding of new national forces. 

The proximate cause of the restlessness of this vast 
society and of the desire of its thinking classes to carry 
out radical changes lies in the repeated shocks received 
by China from the impact of foreign nations culminating 
in the humiliation following the Boxer outbreak and in 
the occupation of Manchuria. The success of Japan 
had a profound influence. By comparison it made China 
conscious of her own weakness, and it caused her think- 
ing people to look upon the methods adopted by Japan 
as necessary also to Chinese regeneration. Together 
with this, there has come the sudden transformation of 
Chinese life by the introduction on a vast scale of rail- 
ways, telegraphic communication, and modern indus- 
trial methods in general. Never before has so vast a 
population been so shaken to the very roots of its being 
by actual and impending changes. 

It is not surprising that there should be a scarcity of 
leaders at this juncture. The forces involved are so over- 
powering, the masses concerned so vast, that it is too 
much to demand of any individual person that he 
should be able to represent all these tendencies and im- 
pulses. Indeed, men have come forward who have been 
leaders in a limited sense — men who have expressed the 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 181 

feelings and desires of the multitudes; or those who, as 
government officials, have acted in accordance with the 
demands of the modern spirit and so have become prom- 
inent; or again, men who, through writing and speaking, 
have made themselves the mouthpiece of the learned 
and the gentry. There have been agitators like Sun and 
like Kang Yu-wei; there have been transmitters of 
thought from the outside world to the Chinese mind; 
and there have been official reformers like Yuan and 
Chang. But there has been a lack in consistency and 
permanence of leadership; nor has it been comprehens- 
ive enough to be truly national This is what China 
needs most at the present time: no more of impersonal 
reasoning, of suggested reforms, of agitation, but the 
great personality whose character will command respect 
and whose capability will comprise the needs and aspira- 
tions of a vast nation. 

There are European practices and modes of thought 
which have already made so profound an impression 
upon China that they may be considered henceforth as 
part of her being. First of all, there is the idea of national 
organization and efficiency. The Chinese have learned 
that civilization is not only a matter of individual virtue 
and excellence, but that it must also express itself in such 
an organization of national life as will make it possible 
for all the forces therein contained to act smoothly, and, 
when need be, to concentrate their efforts at any given 
point. With the commonwealth idea, there comes the 



182 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

feeling of national patriotism, to take the place of the 
narrow localism and clannishness that have so far split 
up the force of China into small fragments. There is 
also a strong impulse toward parliamentary and repre- 
sentative government as the best method for focusing 
the forces of public opinion and bringing them to bear 
upon national affairs. These liberal ideals are now 
almost universally accepted by all who are not benighted 
reactionaries. The revolutionary party, as we have seen 
goes farther; they accept the "egalitarianism" of Rous- 
seau and pronounce war on everything that is not rad- 
ically democratic. A superficial reading of history makes 
them exaggerate the beneficence of bloodshed and of 
violent agitation. 

The social and political ideals of the West have also 
exercised a certain influence. The honesty and efficiency 
which, on the whole, are maintained in the public ser- 
vice of Western nations, has strongly impressed the 
Chinese. While they cling to the more formal Confu- 
cian morality with its five standard social relations, the 
feeling of a broader moral responsibility resting upon 
the brotherhood of man is also influencing contemporary 
thought and action. There is a tendency to become 
more individualistic, to give the individual greater lat- 
itude of action, and to exact from him a more general 
moral responsibility. This has already begun to have a 
liberating influence on women, in allowing them at 
times to widen the sphere of their interests and activi- 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 183 

ties. Moreover, some cruel practices and vices which 
had been tolerated before are now vigorously combated. 
The strength of moral enthusiasm shows itself in the 
battle against the evil of opium-smoking; women are 
being relieved of the tyranny of the small-feet custom; 
greater naturalness is becoming an ideal, and ancient 
peculiarities of dress are being abandoned, although the 
individuality of the national costume of China is hap- 
pily being maintained. 

In this rebirth that China is undergoing we meet the 
same ardor and energy of youth which characterized the 
European Renaissance. China, indeed, is weighed down 
by a feeling of humiliation and suffering, and is vexed 
by great unsolved problems, so that she cannot experi- 
ence to the full the joyousness of such a movement. 
Nevertheless it is the force of youth that is manifesting 
itself; and as a matter of fact, the young and vigorous 
are now most active in China, while the older, whose 
strength lies more in experience, are resigning leader- 
ship into youthful hands. This is remarkable in a coun- 
try in which age has always been given so great an 
importance and so many privileges. The youthful 
strength and naturalness which characterize the move- 
ment, very often, however, tend to take the form of 
resistance to all restraint. The so-called naturalism of 
Japan has its counterpart in China; as a matter of fact, 
"naturalistic" modes of thought have been directly im- 
ported into China by returned students; but even with- 



184 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

out this direct connection, the phenomenon would un- 
doubtedly have occurred. Naturalism, that desire to 
let all force work itself out, may take varied forms; but 
it is the general experience that its main tendencies are 
toward a harsh materialism. It is here that the greatest 
moral danger of modern China lies. 

In its present need the nation goes back to the tradi- 
tions of the past for guidance, and indeed it finds there 
wisdom and nobility of mind; but whether the ideals of 
Confucianism are sufficient to exercise a compelling 
force over the new generation still remains to be seen. 
Nor have any of the more distinctly religious beliefs 
current in China furnished a trusty basis for moral con- 
stancy and strength. In an age so intensely competitive 
as our own and in a country where the rigors of competi- 
tion, inter- and intra-national, cannot be softened; 
where fierce struggles are still to be fought; where, from 
the depth of despondency and discouragement, the only 
thing that seems to offer security for the future is organ- 
ized physical force, the possession of means, and the use 
of material instruments, — under such conditions, it is 
not surprising that multitudes turn to the naturalism of 
material forces and agencies, desiring the things that 
are demonstrably strong if they are high-minded, and 
losing themselves in material satisfactions if they are of 
coarser fibre. The ideals which might help the Chinese 
people to escape these dangers cannot be created out 
of hand, nor can they be adopted from abroad. The 



THE CHINESE REFORM MOVEMENT 185 

national spirit, indeed, contains elements high and noble 
enough for moral guidance in the future, but they must 
be conscientiously developed through a devoted spirit 
among leaders and followers. And while they may be 
improved and strengthened by the good qualities con- 
tained in other civilizations, it is the Chinese them- 
selves who, from the character of their national genius, 
will have to solve this supreme problem. Christianity, 
too, has a message for modern China. Many of the new 
impulses which are stirring Chinese life find nourish- 
ment in Christian ideals of sympathy, humanity, and 
devotion. But in applying these motives, the special 
needs of China and the moral character of her people 
should control the forms of teaching so as to give them 
their full effect. Recently, at an informal meeting of 
Chinese Christians, a symposium took place concerning 
the prospects of Christianity in the Empire. 1 These men 
represented different groups and widely different inter- 
ests and localities; yet they all were agreed that if Chris- 
tianity is to succeed in China, it must become less 
foreign and more Chinese; that stress must be laid on 
essentials of faith rather than on formalism of creed; 
that there must be a certain liberality which will not 
consider sinful the ceremonies of respect for ancestors, 
for the Emperor, for Confucius, and for the dead, but 
will tolerate these as national observances; and that 
Christian thought should be presented so as to appeal 
i Communicated by Mr. H. B. Hawkins. 



186 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

to all classes, not only to the people, but to their leaders 
as well. 

At a time when such radical changes are taking place, 
when so many conflicting forces are bearing in upon the 
mind of China, there is a great danger that the guiding 
star of national destiny, in moral impulse, may be lost 
sight of. China cannot, indeed, make herself over into 
an efficient nation unless she is willing to learn from 
other peoples the ways in which they excel and to con- 
sider the moral elements of their success ; but she must 
also be true to the best in her own civilization — its 
reasonableness, its calm and peaceable view of life, its 
respect for the things of the spirit. Turning her back 
upon abuses current in the past, she will make herself 
strong by becoming different, without ceasing to be 
essentially herself. 



/ 




1. 



3. 







Li?'- '^*^* 



^U. 





iTNra^E^UCATION IN CHINA 







/^**" 



The present tendency of affairs in China seems to % 
indicate that our generation is to witness a repetition of x **~ 
the marvel of the Japanese Restoration and that a move- 
ment will take place in China which in rapidity and thor- 
oughness may even excel that remarkable transforma- 
tion. In a country in which the stability of social and_ 
political institutions has become a religion, where all the 
details of a complex system of social polity have lasted 
in their present composition for upward of two thousand 
years, such ajaudden move ment, full of flurppy n fl int g?^ 
es t in itself ^ isfraughtyitJi immmmf. ^angpra trft tfr° "V 1 - 
lions of this colossal empire. The unfolding of dynamic 
forcesT^tingjipon such a va st basis and mtk^uc_&5i 
intricate backgroun d of civi lization, has never been wit- 

the conflicting currents and counter-currents of this 
sweeping stream, it is difficult to fix upon the dominant 
forces and fully to understand their action. Personal 
ambitions and intrigues, enthusiastic demands for 
reform, unselfishjiacrifi^ calcu- 

lation, are intermixed and in tertwined so as to give every 
movement and *Yfiry «**■ * n **pffi f - of duplicity ancLt o 



188 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

make it utterly impo ssible to f athom their tendencies; 
and yet nothing can be more certain than that we have 
to do with an overpowering impulse of a strong nation to 
free itself from the tyrannies of custom and of human 
device and to emerge into the broad stream of modern 
life. This impulse has long been present among the 
younger and more vigorous minds of China, but it took 
the bitter experience of the Chino-Japanese War and of 
the reprisals consequent upon the Boxer outbreak to 
bring the country as a whole to the realization that a 
great change was absolutely demanded if fatal disaster 
were to be averted. At present the nation has become 
thoroughly aroused, and no action seems too radical to 
enlist a following even among the most responsible parts 
of the population. 

Thfi JlTMfyfag ftl«™»nt in th is great movement is the 
system otfjgducation. In India, as we have seen, educa- 
tion has been a bond of national union only in a very 
superficial way. In the original Indian civilization, it 
was a perquisite of a caste, and under the English 
regime it has served rather to dissociate the educated 
people from the feelings of the multitude than to bind 
the whole nation together in an active spirit of unity. 
China presents a different complexion. Education there 
has alw ays been a un ifying elemen t. The basi sof __the 
selection of leaders from the mumps ttf the pnpnlntinnj — 
it has always been looked upon with the greatest respect 
by the people. Through its uniform character derived 



THE NEW EDUCATION IN CHINA 189 

from the overshadowing importance of the Chinese class- 
ics, it has set its stamp upon the entire Chinese nation; 
the effect thus produced indeed betokens in a most strik- 
ing manner the influence of psychological factors in the 
assimilation of tribes which in their physical environ- 
ments and original traits were very different from one 
another. The old system of education has also been a 
most conservativeTorce through the respect, for -author- 
ity wEjcETI]^^ tiie.j)fiople; l it. hafl been .given 
undivided and constant support- by the Intellectual 
classes, who are directly interested in maintaini ng its 
standards. The abolition of this notable system, which 
has been the centre of Chinese polity for thousands of 
years, is therefore not a matter merely of pedagogy. On 
the contrary, it involves a thoroughgoing transforma- 
tion of Chinese modes of thought and action. 

In the oldChinese system of education w e mummt g a 
purely lite rary ideal . Founded mainly upon ethicaLpEp- 
ce pt, it entirely lacked thg scientific or critical pou&jDf 
jQejcf and even history was studied only for the purpose 
of acquiring apt illustrations and striking instances for 
the embellishment of a literary essay. The most serious 
and responsible of the sciences thus became a mere mat- 
ter of ornament. Mathematics was looked down upon 
as the affair of shopkeepers, the instrument for comput- 
ing petty gains. The ideas of natural science contained 
in the traditional lore of China are most grotesque, 
reminding us of the crude notions current in our own 



190 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

mediaeval period, though in some cases strangely yield- 
ing a result that coincides with common sense. -The. 
chief weakness and defect of the tradition al modes of 
thought was the inclination to classify and systematic 
oiTEhe basis of superficial characteristics ana fals e ana- 
logies, without going to the bottom of things by r esearch _ 
anil experiment. Thus a fanciful set of analogies — com- 
paring each of the five elements to an organ in the hu- 
man body, the stomach, liver, heart, and so on — forms 
the basis of Chinese physiology and medical science; 
also the heads of plants are thought to be suitable for 
diseases of the upper parts of the body. Such superficial 
theories, once stated, and accepted as authority, would 
then be forever slavishly repeated, and human ingenuity 
would exhaust itself in discovering new fantastic appli- 
cations of those basic ideas. Nor did Chinese literary 
expression, upon which the system of education laid 
most weight, in itself follow any positive aim, such as 
accurate description or concise argumentation. Its 
values are purely conventional and it constitutes an in- 
tricate world by itself. When we remember that Chinese 
literature lacks the values of the spoken word, that it is 
entirely a matter of writing, we shall be in a position bet- 
ter to appreciate the character of this training. While 
there are thirty thousand word-signs, there are only 
about five hundred root syllables. Thus a single syllable 
will usually stand for at least thirty or forty different 
meanings, each of which, however, has its own word-sign. 



THE NEW EDUCATION IN CHINA 191 

Spoken Chinese is totally unlike the clas sic language^ In 
conversation or formal address, th o s p ea k er makc o-him- 
self understood by using innumerable- modifying sjdla- 
blesto explain words which otherwise would betoaam^ 
biguous to yield any meaning. Written language, fol- 
lows a different method; the collocation of word-sigBfl, 
which appeals to the eye alone, is relied upon to indicate^ 
shades of expression. Thus^.whpn read aloud, literature 
is either unintelligible, or appears, full of trite_and.WQDi 
sentiments and expressions; but the printed or written 
page is pictorial and symbolic in the extreme. The sug- 
gestiveness of the written language is without limit; as 
every idea and image has its own special word-sign, there 
is a great wealth and variety of expressions. But it is not 
only in the use of rare and prtcieuse forms that a delicate 
literary sense is sought, but rather in the artistic group- 
ing and arrangement of word-signs, by which, through 
a certain mutual reflection, they gain in suggestivenees 
and color. So the writer may revel in the most intimate 
allusions and complex sentiments. This brings about a 
certain esotericism; everything contained in such com- 
positions few of the readers will understand, but through 
the ages a hidden thought will appeal to this or that kin- 
dred spirit and light up a happy smile of recognition. 
The study of such a literature presents an aspect and 
holds possibilities which are not equaled by any other 
classical language. Its conventionality, indeed, is re- 
stricting and its literary canons draw narrow boundaries 



102 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

to individual expression; and yet, withal, the possibili- 
ties for delicate shading and subtle suggestiveness are 
infinite. We may well believe that the soberly printed 
page of even the most poetical of Western writers ap- 
pears barren to a Chinese literary scholar, accustomed 
to the subtle allusions lurking in every group and clus- 
tering about every line of his pictorial writings. 

The ty pe of mind developed by exclusive attention to 
such a literature is complex and subtle. The bland and 



trite moralism of the educated Chinaman is a result of 
the conventionality of the notions inculcated in the 
classical literature. But when it comes to deal with the 
details of expression, the Chinese mind develops a re- 
markable delicacy and subtlety which is transmitted to 
all its operations. The educated Chinaman has eyes 



traine d quickly to perceive jthe unobvious meaning in 
things. W§ mind is less well adapted for seeing~the- 
broad essential forces that dominate action in nature 
and the human world. However, though trained primar- 
ily in other matters, thfiLQbinese mindhas nevertheless 
become accustomed to rigorous concentration to such an 
extent that it may readily^be turned into aiLadmiralje 
instrume nt for _the_ jnyefitigatioiL-and fathoming of the 
p roblems of modern scientific thought. Yet what a task 
ahead before this can be accomplished. From lifeless 
chronicles to history, from artificial deductions to direct 
observation of natural forces, from a confining formal- 
ism to the expression of individual experience and char- 



THE NEW EDUCATION IN CHINA 193 

acter, from fanciful analogy to positive proof, — in 
making this transition Chinese methods of thought must 
indeed radically transform themselves. 

While the Chinese mind has been held in the prison of 
childish theories, the character of the Chinese is not such 
that it is ever satisfied with purely theoretical pursuits. 
Common sense, shrewdness, a practical eye for busi- 
ness, and withal a great power of self-control, are 
among their most striking characteristics. The latter, 
indeed, is not to be attributed to stolidity. The 
Chines e are n "g n *lbL god ft"iriftmAnfji.11y PYnitfthlft 
and prone to violent ou tbursts of passi on. As that 
notable lady, Doctor King Ya-mei, has justly re- 
marked, "The. Chinese, excitable by temperament, 
h ave chosen a high stan d ard of selEcontroT^fla an 
id eal._ The very power of their passion has caused 
the Chinese to raise such formidable barriers of cus- 
tom in self-defense." This same common sense is now 
beginning to exert itself in matters of intellectual life, 
and as the Japanese have come to believe in practical 
science, have indeed become masters of scientific inquiry 
and management, no less will the Chinese surprise the 
world in this matter. Their psychology is predisposed 
to this development, which has been retarded by anterior 
conditions. They have none of the volatile, dreamy 
characteristics of the Hindus. To cite again the words of 
Doctor King, " It devolves on China, which is neither 
mystic nor warrior, with its great body of skillful farmers 



194 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

artisans, merchants, unpicturesque and often as uninter- 
esting as their British congeners, to solve the practical 
problems of Asiatic life." * 

But though from the point of view of Chinese psycho- 
logy, the present evolution seens purely normal, viewed 
in its relations to social and political institutions, it is 
nothing short of a revolution. In the pa flti I* 1 ? fin* 1 ™ 
fabric j rf Chinese s ociety has rested upon ol a aoioal m 
tiiority. intellectual life wafl nr™ 1 ™ ™*^ ^y +-h» h»lfof 

that everything WOrth Imnwing haa Iran rpmn^AH Qjif 

and settled by the ancients. Social cust om was detffl pa- 



ined by the prprapta of thft fl^fF*; »"ri pnlit.wi p r< >, 
ferment came to thoflp who had towt mastered the class- 
ical. Jore. There had been created, in Chinese education, 
a unifying psychological force, which in itself was the 
bond that held the Empire together by assimilating the 
various elements in its population. In the conduct and 
destiny of the Chinese nation, educational matters there- 
fore had an importance far transcending the life of the 
schools. Accordingly, a change of system is by no means 
a matter of pure pedagogics, but it involves such funda- 
mental permutations of social and political conduct, that 
among all the changes progressing and impending in the 
Middle Kingdom, this reform of education is the most 
significant and far-reaching. 

Those who knew China best were most apprehensive 
as to the difficulties which would attend any attempt to 
1 The WorWa Chinese Students' Journal, vol. i. p. 41. - 



THE NEW EDUCATION IN CHINA 105 

dislodge a system so long established, and so intimately 
connected with the power of officialdom. As late as 
1898, the events of that turbulent epoch seemed to render 
hopeless any attempt at reform from within. Ihfi_ 
repeated humiliation of Ch inese pride dur ing the last 
decade has, however, brought about most suddenly a 
sweeping movement of chang e, su p ported by t he com - 
mon feeling among all thinking^Chinamen that only a 
thorough renaissance of national life can savethe coun- 
try t rom continued inroads and humiliations.. Nor can 
China take her time. She must become strong in a hurry. 
So, with all the retarding weight of tradition, with pop- 
ular distrust and impatience, with official intrigues and 
counter-intrigues, with diplomatic embarrassment, the 
Chinese are still forging ahead in the work of reconstruc- 
tion. Even the distant spectator cannot but be filled 
with concern when he realises the risks to which the 
Chinese people are now subject. They are seeking a for- 
ward way, a road out of the stagnation into which their 
national life has fallen; but whether they will be able 
to accomplish this escape from the fetters of tradition 
without bloody sacrifice, is a question the answer to 
which the future still holds. 

Changes in the educational system of China have been 
attempted before, notably in 1898; but the conservatism 
of the official classes has always succeeded in defeating 
any plan of thoroughgoing reform. After the Boxer 
troubles, however, even they could no longer escape the 



196 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

conclusion that changes were necessary! if China were 
to resist the inroads of foreign powers. A commission, 
appointed in iMAjtn «f.iiHy th ft yhifflt^riftl fljtu^iAT^ 
submitted acomplefe ptyi * nr *> nfrtimnnl public-schooL^ 
system. R eceivi ng the sanction of the Imperial Govern- 
ment, this plan became the authorised programme for ~~ 
eduuaUu ngTTft Knges throughout the -fiapirev- In-SefH-i-r 
\^ ~ tember, 1905, an edict was issued which abolished the 
customs of twothousandjrears. The old literary erami n- 
ations, by which men had obtained the rigfrt to nffiftfaj 

appointments, ™? mtMy HMnrwiiimwIj am] JJiPro 

woe substituted for them examinations in which sub* 

j ects of modem lear ning were ©ven aj>rQminent_p]wer3 

la Decem ber. H HKLtha important! of «dw«Anqi mtfr 

terswas further recognised b} 

Board of Education, charged, with.. 

intending the enforcement of the imperial decrees on 

educational matters. 

The two essential elements in the Chinese ref orm are 
the creatio n of a pvblu yschgol ays2sta r JUuL4he-intn)duc- 
tion of Western subjects of study. Under the old^r^gme 
schools were almost entirely supported by private enter- 
PQttL. Neighborhood school associations provided for 
elementary teaching, while in the larger towns educa- 
tional bodies or officials backed the higher schools. The 
ambitious plan worked out and submitted by Chang 
Chih-tung, Chang Pao-hsi, and their associates, pro- 
vides for a complete system of educational institutions 



THE NEW EDUCATION IN CHINA 1OT 

modeled upon those of Japan, which, in turn, were in- 
spired chiefly by the educational practice of the United 
States and Germany. There is to be a kindergarten, fol- 
lowed by a lower and an upper primary school, with 
courses occupying five and four years respectively, in 
which the subjects taught are reading, classics, history, 
mathematics, geography, elementary science, music, and 
gymnastics. It is the purpose of the law that every 
larger village shall have its primary school, and that there 
shall be at least one of these institutions for every four 
hundred families. Every district town is to have a higher 
primary school. The next grade in the educational 
system is the middle school, which would correspond 
roughly to the American high school or academy. There 
is to be at least one in each prefecture. In addition to a 
more advanced pursuit of the studies mentioned above, 
the study of foreign languages also is required in these 
institutions. Each provincial capital is to be supplied 
with a college, while the coping-stone of the whole sys- 
tem is the University of Peking, with which universities 
in other important centres may be associated. The Uni- 
versity of Peking is supplied with eight faculties and 
forty-six departments. Admiss ion from lower sch ools to 
those of a hjgfrer grade wj ) l be obtoined_Qii th e basis o f 
strict examinations. 

{n ad dition to the schools enumerated, there have also 
been established a large number of agricultural and tech- 
nical ins titutions of various grades, .from the farming 



198 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

school, to which graduates of the primary school are ad- 
mitted, to the technical colleges, which require a much 
longer preparation on the part of the students. There 
are also normal schools, and special schools for law and 
political science. The latter are intended especially for 
the supplementary training of government officials. 
The National Board dealing with educational matters 
exercises a general supervision, but as the actual ad- 
ministration of schools is in the hands of local officials, it 
does not exert much positive control, nor does it originate 
educational policies. The scope of its functions may be 
implied from the bureaus into which it is divided 
namely, professional status, general affairs, secondary 
studies, technology, editing, investigation, and coun- 
cilors. The Board is assisted by over one hundred and 
eighty attaches, representing the learning of the Chin- 
ese classics, as well as that of Japan and of the West. 
Among them are a number of prominent specialists. The 
bureau of editing requires the largest staff, as it is in- 
trusted with the work of translating and publishing for- 
eign works suitable for purposes of instruction, as well 
as with the direct preparation of Chinese text-books. 

The mpvMAtfjfp pnjninR »pnn ifl vic eroys, gov- 
ernors, ^ndjarefects the- ut moot diligence in the rapi d 
b uilding-up of th e f^"£»%nftl flya*^™ ^ all jtf» parfa Ifn 
realization of course still depends upon the individual 
initiative and energy of governors and local officials. On 
account of the varying local conditions, considerable 



THE NEW EDUCATION IN CHINA 199 

latitude must be allowed to these men — a broad discre- 
tion as to the specific methods which will be most condu- 
cive towards the realization of the general scheme. H. E. 
Yuan Shi-kai has g iven evidence of hjsserio us purp ose, 

in^nnrjipftiifiA iggnoH in 1QQ7 unfVi roop^j tlT frdllffltjnjl 

He makes very specific numerical requirements as to 
rcEooIpl In e ach provincial capital there are to be at 
least one hundred Primary schools with five thousand 
pupils. In each district there shall be forty such schools, 
with at least two thousand pupils, and in each village at 
least one with an attendance of forty. The viceroy con- 
templates the requirement of compulsory education for 
a period of at least two years for all children. Together 
with H. E. Tuan Fang and old Chang Chih-tung he 
memorialized the Throne to make primary education 
compulsory throughout the Empire. The plan outlined 
above, as may be imagined, looms much larger on paper 
than in actual execution, and there is a long distance 
which still must be traveled before the system of Chinese 
education will really become general and serviceable to 
all parts of the population. 

When the Chinese Government had iss ued its radical, 
decrees on edu cation, the spirit of the past see m p to haye 
loome d up before it in a threaten ing monner, To ap- 

^peftue the not.innol onfteoforo, oli^nat Hi*niw> hnnnro w fi ^ 

bestowed upon flie greot tp*/^fir Cfnrf , i />;,, f It was also 

JAgjrlgfl ttW * flnnf union TTniTOmity wnnlH Vw efi^fiK. 

l ished at tfa fi hirf.nnlo/y nf lib* ao fPj f" the province of 



200 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

Shantung. Here the classic learning is to be preserved 
in all its purity. The present representative of the 
family of Confucius, the "Holy Duke" Yen, a descend- 
ant of the great teacher in the seventy-sixth generation, 
presented himself before the Empress and Emperor to 
render thanks for the great distinction bestowed upon 
his family. Being evidently touched with modern views, 
he proposed that, while the place of honor should be 
given to Confucian studies, the new university should 
also not neglect such branches as political and social 
science, foreign languages, and other Western studies. 
This testimony to the importance of Western science 
coming from such a source, had a great influence upon 
the conservatives of China. Having become interested 
in education, Duke Yen Sheng memorialized the Throne 
concerning four points: first, the character and behavior 
of students shall be carefully looked after; second, the 
color of the cloth used for drill shall be made uniform; 
third, teachers shall be selected from amongst persons 
who are of serious character; fourth, teachers shall be 
over forty years of age. By imperial order, the Board of 
Education has transmitted these views to all provincial 
authorities. With such wisdom to guide them, how can 
the Chinese go astray? 

One of the gr eatest difficulties occasioned im -th&new 
s gBtem of educa tion ll** "I f ^ ft hraYY ^P"!*- which it 
e ntails. B ui]dingB_haye_tQ be . secured and furnished, 
teaching materials and text-bookfi jprovided, and teach- 



THE NEW EDUCATION IN CHINA 201 

ere of sufficient acquirements employed. The old-style 
teacher of the Chinese village school was satisfied with a 
paltry income, — some thirty or forty dollars, silver, a 
year, — supplemented as it was by kindly attentions 
from the neighbors. Men w ho_are to teach the new 
branches e^KPfic t & much larger salary; in fact, they de- 
mand many times as much as the old reading masters. 
The financing of the new system has consequently been 
a matter of extreme difficulty. In many localities, the 
question of securing a building equipment was solved by 
turning ancient Buddhist temples and monasteries into 
schools, and using pious funds for the purchase of maps, 
books, chairs, and desks. The Buddhist monks were not 
always willing benefactors of the public; in fact, they 
began to make frequent use of the subterfuge of trans- 
ferring their property to Japanese Buddhists, in order to 
obtain diplomatic protection. The threatened increase 
of Japanese influence led the Government to abandon 
the further conversion of Buddhist temples, except in 
cases where some sort of agreement could be arrived at 
with the bonzes. 
PqvAt/> m^nifWy ice hflfl been strongly appea led to by 

the Officia l* j\ pftrann AnHnw^ng ft fwtain iii |T nfra7^f 

schools wi ^ hfi n™" ftw » t™* ** n ^tinS—nm mi ii. n ? ™ 
trv: especially generqufl gift* ft~ o^lmnnrl^g^ Ky fr*> 

iprmrlnpnrnon The public system has, of course, not 
superseded the system of private schools. The latter 
flourish and increase in number by the side of those 



202 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

established by authority of the Government. It has also 
been proposed that the moneys heretofore spent in pro- 
cessions, in certain commemorative exercises and come- 
dies, be applied to the more useful purpose of furthering 
the educational cause. The main source of funds for edu- 
cational purposes should, of course, be general taxation. 
But on account of the inflexibility of the Chinese re- 
venue system, local officials often find it difficult to raise 
the additional income required to meet the new ex- 
penses. Some special sources have from time to time been 
utilised, such as the sale of public property, or the indem- 
nity funds remitted by the United States. 

The financial administration of the sch ools has no t 
escaped suspicion; in fact, it has incurred much criticism 



on the part of the public press. Such statements as the 
* fallowing "(from the "Shen-Chaw-JihrPao, or NaiionaT 
Herald) are often encountered: " When we first heard of 
the new schools, we believed that they embodied a 
healthy desire and honest wish to benefit the educational 
system. It was indeed a matter of remark that the not- 
ables and literati, who had hitherto considered the old 
schools as unexcelled, had over night become enthusias- 
tic supporters of the new system. The cause of their 
sudden change appears more clearly at present. A look 
at the modern schools shows that they were founded 
chiefly through a desire for gain. The notables have be- 
come school managers. The funds intrusted to them 
they misappropriate. For teachers, pupils, and objects 



THE NEW EDUCATION IN CHINA 203 

of instruction they care not. In their hearts they are 
still followers of the old system." 

While this view is undoubtedly too cynical, it never- 
theless indicates the difficulties in the road to reform, so 
long as official misuse of funds is not checked by an ade- 
quate system of accounting. The ediM»* tinnft1 gygf/>m 

itself suffers most f rom the scarcity of properly qualifie d 
teachers. The schoolmaster of the old type could at 
least scan the lines of the classics, but those who pretend 
a knowledge of modern branches have often acquired 
only a most superficial smattering from some Japanese 
instructor, who himself may have dipped from second- 
hand sources. In many localities, the entire spirit of the 
schools leaves much to be desired. The teachers them- 
selves are prone to strike if their pay is not sufficient. 
Disputes between pupils and teachers are common. 
Should an unpopular teacher not be dismissed, a boy- 
cott is organized by the pupils, and they often go to the 
length of leaving the school in a body. Frequently they 
seem to carry their point to the extent that, in some lo- 
calities, all discipline has been subverted; and students 
have gone so far as to dictate to the teachers what they 
want to be taught. The teachers sometimes have much 
to suffer from an obstinate insistence on the part of the 
students to do things in their own way. A custom once 
established will be adhered to with a stubbornness which 
can be described only as "pig-headedness." 
News items like the following are common in the Chin- 



204 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 



journals: "Yangchow, 14th June, 1907. There are 
troubles in the middle school at Yangchow, caused by 
disagreement as to the amount of the teachers' pay. The 
teachers have all resigned"; or, " Hankow y 13th May, 
1907. Owing to a conflict between teachers and students 
in the middle school of Lin-hai-hsien, the latter have left 
the school." Under all these circumstances, it is not sur- 
prising that the attitude of the man in the street toward 
the schools is not always enthusiastic. The schoolboys 
parading about in their new uniforms are apt to be 
arrogant, and offend the susceptibilities of the people 
they meet. The new taxes imposed by the mandarins are 
burdensome to many. A system which seems to be utilis- 
ing the contributions of all for the benefit of a compara- 
tively small number is easily made the object of popular 
opposition, especially when feelings have been embit- 
tered through petty bickerings. So, in some localities 
the buildings occupied by the new schools have been 
torn down, and public violence has been aroused by any 
effort to develop the new system. But these are only dif- 
ficulties and troubles which could naturally be foreseen 
when a reform of such reach and importance was under- 
taken. 

In the majority of Chinese towns, however, the public 
feeling is of a quite different kind. Great things are ex- 
pected of the new education. A hopeful and strong na- 
tional spirit has arisen from the many ills that threaten 
China. The new system is certainly given an eager 



THE NEW EDUCATION IN CHINA 205 

reception by the young students themselves; it is so 
superior to the old in interest and in freedom from tedi- 
ous tasks of memory work. They are especially fond of 
their uniforms, which mark them as young soldiers in the 
national army. T hough the syBtem jgas introduced gfr 
fii gt agai nst the will of the Zttero&Jthey didnotjeriously 
o ppose it , but soon came to acknowledge that the nqw 
e duca tion is necessary -to-China. It was supposed that 
there would be bitter opposition on the part of the teach- 
ers of the old school, who would be in danger of losing 
their livelihood. The result happily does not bear out 
these anticipations. Such subjects as Chinese lite ratur e, 
natu ral h istory, and philosophy, still offer _a large field of 
activity to the old type of teachere, provided tha t th ey 
have put themselves in touch with modern ideas o n the ir 
subjects through reading a few Western treatises.^ The. 
seal of the older teachers in trying to catch up with the 
foreign-trained men is at times'dmosfpath etic , InmosT 
towns a Jl teachers' discussion class" has been organized. 



These classes were established by the initiative of the 
teachers themselves, in order that they might acquire the 
knowledge necessary for elementary instruction in the 
new branches. With great eagerness these men, varying 
in age from thirty to fifty-five years, will follow the in- 
struction given by some youngster in the early twenties 
who has been fortunate enough to have had a course in 
Japan or the West. While the necessary superficiality of 
such a system must be deplored, the mere fact of this in- 



206 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

struction being so eagerly sought by the teachers is the 
best proof that the old order, recognizing its inevitable 
fate, has abandoned the hope of regaining its former su- 
premacy and is hurrying to adapt itself to the new condi- 
tions. 

JThis enthusiasm also finds expression injgreat i ndivi d- 
u al sacri fices, and even in martyrdom. Private gifts are 
made in large numbers, even without the solicitation of 
officials or the hope of rewards. Within the last few 
years, it has frequently happened that some person de- 
sirous of founding a school, and lacking the means to do 
so, has in truly Oriental fashion appealed to his or her 
townsmen by committing suicide, after writing out a 
touching request for aid in the new cause. A Tartar lady 
at Hankow who had founded a school for girls was unable 
to secure sufficient money for carrying on the work of 
the institution. In order to secu re her object f she deter - 
mined to commit suicide. In her farewell letter, she stated 
that she felt the need "oT the school so much that she 
would sacrifice her own life and thus impress the need 
upon those who were able to give money. Her act had 
the result desired, as after her death money came Sowing 
in from many sources. In most cases, fortunately, the ap- 
peals for assistance are successful without going to such 
extremes. Thus, the wife of a district magistrate in Honan 
having decided to establish a school for girls, wrote a 
circular setting forth that a girl, if uneducated, brings 
six kinds of injury to herself and three kinds to her rela- 



THE NEW EDUCATION IN CHINA 207 

tives. The subtlety of her arguments fascinated the city 
folk, and sufficient funds for her purpose were soon pro- 
vided. 

The introduction of female education, which militates 
against the most deep-seated prejudices of the Chinese 
race, has called for greater personal sacrifices than any 
other part of educational reform,. Some powerful patrons 
have indeed-arisen. HJB. Tuan Fang urged the import- 
ance o f this reform upon the Empress herself, with the 
result that, before her death, the great lady established 
aschool f or female educations the capital — Educated 
women are m aking a strong plea for the education^ 
titeicjaisters. Doctor King Ya-mei, herself educated in 
the West, points out that those who lament the superficial 
nature of the present reforms forget that "half the na- 
tion, whose special function it is to put into practice the 
ideas governing the world in which she lives, has not yet 
been touched; that the strong impressions of childhood 
are the lasting ones, and that man is but an embodiment 
of the ideas of the mother." But in the case of female 
education, it is not primarily the provision of funds that 
causes difficulties. The desire of women to share in the 
advantages of education is of itself looked upon by the 
majority of the Chinese as scandalous and not at all to 
be encouraged. Many heartrending tragedies have been 
brought about by insoluble conflicts of duty toward the 
old and the new. A short time ago, in an interior village 
in Kiang Su, a woman, ambitious to become educated, 



208 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

killed herself after bad treatment from her husband's 
relatives. Her farewell letter was everywhere copied by 
the Chinese press. It has become a national document, 
and almost a charter of the new movement. In it occur 
the following sentences: "lam about to die to-day be- 
cause my husband's parents, having found great fault 
with me for having unbound my feet, and declaring that 
I have been diffusing such an evil influence as to have 
injured the reputations of my ancestors, have determ- 
ined to put me to death. Maintaining that they will be 
severely censured by their relatives, once I enter a school 
and receive instruction, they have been trying hard to 
deprive me of life, in order, as they say, to stop before- 
hand all the troubles that I may cause. At first they in- 
tended to starve me, but now they compel me to commit 
suicide by taking poison. I do not fear death at all, but 
how can I part from my children who are so young? In- 
deed, there should be no sympathy for me, but the mere 
thought of the destruction of my ideals and of my young 
children, who will without doubt be compelled to live in 
the old way, makes my heart almost break. 11 

The blood of such martyrs is beginning to make its 
impression upon the Chinese people, and is turning them 
to favor more liberal popular customs. A nation in which 
a spirit of such ruthless self-sacrifice is still so common 
may bring forth things that will astonish the world. It 
has been said that " China contains materials for a revo- 
lution, if she should start one, to which the horrors of 



THE NEW EDUCATION IN CHINA 209 

the French Revolution would be a mere squib 11 ; but if 
turned into different channels, this spirit of self-sacrifice 
may, as it did in the case of Japan, bring about a quick 
regeneration of national life and national prestige, 
through the establishment of new institutions, that cor- 
respond to the currents of life thus striving to assert 
themselves. 

The external organization of the Chinese educational 
system, important as it is, is but half the battle. Jjiiba 
struggle for a national renaissance*, thesalonns will be of 
small adv antage , it the tn i ft g p'P^^rf m ^ m ^"9*4 ^ 
s tudy is lacking- There is indeed a great amount of curi- 
osity among the Chinese, such as inspired the Japanese 
when they were first confronted with Western civilisa- 
tion in all its prowess and varied interest. The youth of 
China are most eager to learn, but the direction given 
to their efforts has not always been judicious. The move- 
ment is too tremendous in scope to have reached perfec- 
tion in detail. Many of the students see in Western 
learning an open sesame to wealth, a smooth highway to 
position and honors. -Indeed, iu the first educational 
edict, the nnyernment . ^^ "fi-ftftil ttr afmtinn tfti^ hftra 
and students n ot to look on educ ating ** f}lp p*+Way fti 
ho nor, rap k f *"^ p referment^ frufi r* f h pr «* * means pt_ 
bringing st rength to their country . But the idea which 
this edict gives of the spirit of the new education is itself 
very vague. It states the objects to be, "loyalty to the 
Confucian spirit, public-mindedness, bravery, and 



210 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

truth. 19 Such general ideals are compatible with many 
different interpretations, and thus the all-important 
question will be, To whom will fall the privilege of guid- 
ing China in the paths of the new learning? The prestige 
acquired by Japan through her successes in the last war 
gave her people for a time a decided ascendancy of intel- 
lectual leadership in China. As a Hindu writer has ex- 
pressed it: "Since Japan inflicted upon Russia a signal 
defeat, the entire Orient is pulsating with a new life. All 
Asia seems to be vibrant to follow in the wake of Japan. 1 ' 
While the war was in progress, Buddhist monks from 
Japan were carrying on a propaganda for a revival of 
their religion in China, and Japanese teachers poured 
into the provinces of the Empire in great numbers. 
Though there were among them many of insufficient 
training, they still acted as a vanguard of progress and 
education, and were eagerly received by the progressive 
young China. Thousands of Chinese students, more- 
over, went to Japan for study. The movement was fos- 
tered on the part of Japan by such associations as the 
Toa Dobunkai ("Society of the countries having the 
same script 11 ), who favored a strong educational propa- 
ganda. But in the end, the military success of Japan in 
Manchuria was somewhat too great not to fill the Chin- 
ese themselves with misgivings as to their own political 
safety. These fears have been accentuated through the 
manner in which the Japanese have maintained their 
foothold in Manchuria, through the treaties between 



THE NEW EDUCATION IN CHINA 211 

Japan and various European powers by which they mu- 
tually guarantee their interests, and through the action 
of Japan in the Tatsu Mam incident. A certain conflict 
of interests could not be concealed, and the nationalist 
feeling of China was directed against any further expan- 
sion of Japanese influence in that empire. China is at*, 
present not turning to any particular nation for guid- 



ance, but is se eking, as did Japan thirty years agoV^g 
team the best m ethods wherever they may be found. 

The Chinese Government has for some time beenac- 
tivelv encouragi ng young men to 8tudy"iLbroad-an31to 
g et from travel, observation, and systematic stud y at 
foraigp ^JYprflit.iire thfit knowledg e of th e pr ocesses and 
methods of Western mvilizatinn whinh now-seema essea- 1 
tial to a further development of Chinese national life. In 



former years those who went abroad usually went upon 
their own impulse, or if they were sent by authority, 
they were expected to prepare themselves for a certain 
definite task. No special favor was shown those who had 
a foreign education. On the contrary, they were treated 
rather with jealousy and suspicion. Now all this is 
changed, and the Government itself has set a premium 

were aboli shed t the fl nvftmmpnt int.rodiifled a speqal 

metropolitan examination in which the students trained 

- — — * 

abroa d were to be tested for official positions . In the 
summer o f 1906 the first group of students was thus ex- 
amined at Peking. The occasion excited deep interest in 



212 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

China and abroad, and it seemed a test, not only for the 
candidates presenting themselves, but for the examiners 
and the Chinese Government, with respect to the ability 
of the latter to select men frankly and equitably on the 
basis of proficiency and scientific training. To conduct an 
examination of this kind, with no precedents to guide 
and with candidates trained in various systems of edu- 
cation, was indeed no small task. The chief official in 
charge was H. E. Tang Shao-yi, but the actual work of 
examining the aspirants fell to the noted scholar, Yen-fu. 
In determining upon the standing of the candidates, the 
examiners took into account the diplomas presented, the 
linguistic ability of the students, and their knowledge of 
their respective specialties. In order not to give the 
students educated in Japan a special advantage, it was 
left optional with the candidates in what language they 
were to write their examination papers. A general essay 
was required on one of the following topics: "The Prac- 
ticability of enforcing Compulsory Education in China 
at present," "The Means of improving Chinese Agri- 
culture/ 1 "How the Law against Chinese Immigration 
may be modified on the Basis of the Chino-American 
Treaty/' etc. On the basis of this test, the examiners 
awarded the doctorate to nine candidates, eight of whom 
had been trained in the United States. The master's 
degree was awarded to twenty-three, nearly all of whom 
had attended Japanese institutions. Ten candidates were 
rejected. Some of the men admitted to the doctorate 



THE NEW EDUCATION IN CHINA 213 

were so ignorant of Chinese writing that they could 
not even decipher the decree in which their honor was 
granted. The Government therefore decided that in fut- 
ure examinations the composition of an essay in Chin- 
ese will be required in order to oblige the students to give 
due attention to their own national literature and lan- 
guage. In 1907, Grand Secretary Chang Chih-tung him- 
self supervised the metropolitan examination, being 
assisted by a few of the successful graduates of the pre- 
vious year. It was reported that "His Excellency was 
sympathetic on this occasion, and that, therefore, the 
examination was marked by the success of many Japan- 
ese returned students." This report indicates the cur- 
rent belief that success in these great examinations, to a 
certain extent, depends upon the mood of the examin- 
ers; and, indeed, it would be difficult, if not impossible, 
to invent a method of conducting this test which would 
be mathematically accurate in its results. At this second 
examination the candidates were required to write a 
Chinese essay, in which enterprise many proved sad 
failures. In the subsequent year an American graduate 
again carried off first honors, while the larger number of 
those rejected as failures had studied in Japan. In 1910 
the number of candidates had risen to over six hundred. 
This body of highly trained young men, the cream of the 
intellectual youth of China, are reported to have pre- 
sented a very inspiring sight to the older men. Nearly all 
of them showed that they had not only devoted their 



214 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

time to the study of books, but had received athletic 
training in the gymnasium, in sports, and outdoor 
games. On this occasion the students from Japan were 
so successful that it was charged that the examining 
board had not been entirely impartial, — another in- 
dication of how difficult it is to satisfy the public that 
the mode of selection is absolutely fair to all. 

On account of the difficulty of settling upon a definite 
and permanent policy of examination, the whole system 
has been condemned by many, together with the prefer- 
ence which is given to the government schools in the 
matter of selecting men for the lower degrees. A great 
many people hark back with regret to the immemorial 
method. It is claimed for the old training that it consti- 
tuted a true and thorough education of the faculties of 
the mind, and as well that it gave to the students refine, 
ment and distinction. But what is urged specially against 
the new examinations is that a student may prepare for 
them by cramming, that a superficial knowledge of facts 
and principles memorized in view of the occasion may 
carry him through, or at least assist materially toward 
his success. Such methods were impossible under the old 
system, which tested, as it were, the candidate's entire 
literary personality, his ability, his taste, and that im- 
mersion in literary ideas which can come only after a 
long training. So there is a great deal of mutual recrim- 
ination. The adherents of the classics are picturesquely 
described as " fossils rottening in the odor of a putrid 



THE NEW EDUCATION IN CHINA 215 

past"; while the supporters of modern science are 
castigated as being hysterical and throwing to the winds 
the wholesome restraints of Confucian wisdom. 

But the old system has irrevocably passed away. 
Never again will proficiency in composing the eight- 
legged essay lead to distinction and official power in 
China. The need of a mastery of scientific processes of 
thought and action has been too clearly seen and too 
profoundly felt to allow such a revival; but undoubtedly 
the tendency will grow stronger to keep training on a na- 
tional basis by drawing from the traditional learning of 
China those elements which are of permanent value and 
insisting upon their acquisition by the youth of the land. 

For the purpose of admission to office, the f orei gn 
mission schools are not recognized. In the words of the 
edict;, JJ In order fo safeguard the educational interests of 

be admitted to the examinations." When the excellent 
work is remembered which these schools have done in 
many parts of China, this decree will appear illiberal. 
The Gov gH1 mpnf -r hr" a r°v OT ' J f ^ 1a fKof «y«y ™»«™ mr"* 
be taken to pirnr rTfi thr national ithararter of thi 



ment. and not io allow it to fa l l midei Uiu control of fur ** 
e ign educat ors.— There is also a certain amount of com- 
petition between the schools established by the Govern- 
ment and those independently founded by the gentry of 
different localities. It is only the government schools 
whose students are directly admitted to public examine- 



216 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

tions, and in the law for election of provincial assemblies, 
training in these same schools is given as one of the qual- 
ifications for suffrage. The law states, "or its equival- 
ent," but of course the burden of proof would be on 
those coming from other than government schools to 
prove that the equivalent exists. The fact that training 
in the schools of the Government is thus given a special 
place in the political life of the state has led to the popu- 
lar belief that those who pass through this course will 
surely be provided with public office; the Government 
thus finds itself swamped with large numbers of expect- 
ant officials. Undoubtedly a different system will have 
to be worked out. The authorities of the central and pro- 
vincial governments may continue to examine the stud- 
ents who have absorbed their training, in order to be- 
stow upon them the literary degrees; but by the side of 
this it will be necessary to establish distinct civil service 
examinations in order to test men effectively as to their 
preparation and capability for undertaking some one of 
the different lines of governmental work. 

The government students who are sent to the Western 
countries and to Japan receive a liberal expense allow- 
ance and remain under the guidance and guardianship 
of the Chinese embassies. At times the ministries at 
home may even specifically direct their studies. Thus in 
1907, the Ministry of Justice cabled to eighteen stud- 
ents, ordering them to make special preparatory studies 
so as to be able to assist in the codification of Chinese 



THE NEW EDUCATION IN CHINA 217 

law. The students who are selected to go to the United 
States on the income of the returned indemnity fund are 
selected in an annual examination held in Peking. At 
the first of these, fifteen hundred candidates presented 
themselves, out of whom fifty were selected. Large 
numbers of Chinese students also go to foreign countries 
on their own account. The majority of these attend 
Japanese institutions, on account of the proximity and 
inexpensiveness of the latter. Immediately after the 
Russian war, there were as many as fifteen thousand 
Chinese in Japanese universities. The number has now 
receded to about eight thousand. Much criticism has 
been aroused by the behavior of the Japanese students 
after their return to China. Many of these young men 
have attempted to cast off all restraint, moral, social, 
and political. The sudden transference of a young 
Chinaman, brought up in a life of strict regularity, to an 
atmosphere of entire freedom, is accompanied with dan- 
ger to his character. To judge from all the accounts of 
student life in Tokyo, the freedom enjoyed by the Jap- 
anese students was turned into licence and licentious- 
ness by many of the young men from China. So, instead 
of becoming a source of strength, of character building, 
instead of imparting to the students the morale needed 
by men starting upon careers of constructive work and 
struggle, Tokyo proved an enervating Capua to many of 
them, stealing away their spirit and leaving them uncer- 
tain of purpose and helmless. For these undesirable 



218 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

results, however, the Japanese system of education can 
by no means be held responsible. The cause must be 
sought rather in the general conditions of Tokyo student 
life, in the uprooting of old customs and inherited ideas, 
in a hasty struggle for everything new, and in the general 
immaturity of the Chinese students. How inadequate 
are our common notions of Chinese slavery to custom 
and of the stolidity of Chinese character. Custom, in- 
deed, is strong, but it restrains in ordinary circumstances 
an almost equally strong impulse to high-wrought and 
passionate action. Let once this control be removed, and 
the individualistic tendency of China apparently knows 
no bounds. Moreover, while the regularly established 
Japanese institutions of learning performed a great serv- 
ice to Chinese students, many of the latter unfortun- 
ately fell into the hands of educational adventurers, who 
made a business of rapidly furnishing a makeshift educa- 
tion (the 8oku sei method) and sent their victims back to 
China with graduation certificates and with a feeling of 
great personal consequence, but without any vestige of 
serious training. 

' ThoLelkfJaQ ^ft™™™* WfflPB ^""^ Japanese st ud- 
ents, in the efficacy, of -r cv o luti o naiy muvemenls ami" 
their great admiration for the, French Revolutio n, is a 
notable consequence of these superficial methods-of- 
StUdy. Such results of Japanese gdug a tfan \rnvv irml 
ered the Government less prone to encour age studen t 
migration to that country . In some provinces, Japanese 



THE NEW EDUCATION IN CHINA 219 

students have even been made the objects of indiscrim- 
inating and fanatical persecution on the part of the offi- 
cials. The mere word "Japanese student 19 has become a 
term of reproach in the ears of the officials. It is perhaps 
well that the institutions of Japan should be purged of 
this irresponsible element. Then only will they be able 
to fulfill their mission of interpreting Western scientific 
civilization to the majority of Chinese foreign students, 
who, in the nature of things, will always seek instruc- 
tion in Japan. A stricter control over the Chinese stud- 
ents is now exercised through the minister residing at 
Tokyo, in which effort the Governments of both coun- 
tries cooperate. So the ill report of the "Japanese 
student 11 will be a passing phase. 

Thejt o l itirftl propaganda which is tallied uil by C hin- 
ese 8t,udfiatgj.both_at_hpme and abroad, is a most int er- 
esting phase of the present situation. They ar e intensely 
nationalistic and desire to mak e their influence felt , 
either by appealing directly to the Gov ernme nt or by 
working upon public opinion. It is a very com mon t hing 
ftuLQfficials at Peking, or for pro vincial governments, to 
be flood ed with telegraphic messages and cablegrams by 
students, whenever anyjiction is planned that does not 
appeal to their sense of fitness. This has taken place 
especially whenever it was believed that the Govern- 
ment was on the point of granting a foreign concession or 
taking up a foreign loan. The venerable Chang Chih- 
tung, when at the head of the educational board, admin- 



220 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

istered a fatherly rebuke to the youthful politicians in a 
decree, in which he advised students to apply themselres 
to their studies in order to gain a certain mastery of their 
subject before undertaking to counsel the Government 
on how to manage the country. But the practice has 
not fallen into disuse and seems to be as popular as ever. 
During the queue-cutting propaganda, the students in a 
great many governmental schools had their appendages 
removed as a sign of independence and progressive 
spirit. In Tientsin and other places the use of military 
force had to be threatened to awe school children, mere 
boys and girls, who were proceeding to go on a strike in 
order to force the publication of an edict announcing the 
immediate assembling of a national parliament. When 
the Russo-Chinese question was in an acute stage, early 
in 1911, twelve hundred Chinese students assembled in a 
Tokyo restaurant for the purpose of discussing the situ- 
ation. After much heated oratory had been discharged, 
the students decided that their Government had been 
culpable in its weakness and that their country had been 
humiliated. They resolved to form a society for the pur- 
pose of urging a strong foreign policy and agreed to sub- 
scribe ten yen each toward the first expenses. Telegrams 
were to be sent to all the local assemblies in China. Eight 
hundred of the students — those who received their edu- 
cation at government expense — then went to the Chin- 
ese minister and demanded money from the funds held 
on their account. After futile efforts to placate them, 



THE NEW EDUCATION IN CHINA 221 

the minister finally paid over the money, out of which 
the expense of sending the telegrams was defrayed. Such 
happenings illustrate vividly the independent spirit and 
the interest in public affairs which animate the youth 
of China. 
A great technical difficulty which confronts th( 



ers m the cause of education and scientific reform lies in 



thgjsharacter of Ch inese literary ex pression . The class- 
ical wri tten language which has been taught in the scho ol 
from time i mme morial is less of a livings ve rnacular in 
China than Latin is with us. The spoken langua ge is 
divided into numerous dialects, with extreme varieties 
of expression and of pronunciation. According to the 
educational decree of the Government, an effort is to be 
made to give all instruction in the public schools in the 
so-called Mand arin dialect, that is, the dialect spoken in 
jBj&tjEfjkhgjy^ of China. If in this man- 

ner the adoption of a universal spoken language could 
be brought about, the new educational system will have 
subserved a very important purpose towards the (crea- 
tion of pohtical unity . Butan other serious difficulty li es 
in the_irajaslatiQn nf HPiPntifin terma tKa Phii^A fle liter- 

arv language, beinft c oncise in the extreme and subject 
to much misunderstanding in its spoken form, is as yet 
an Imperfect vehicle for the purp ose of impa r ting accur - 
ate scientific jdeag*. .though itfi potential efficiency is 
greats Doctor Yen Fu has performed a heroic intellect- 
ual task by creating for himself an entire code of philo- 



222 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

sophical expressions in his translations of Spencer and 
Huxley. But so far there is little uniformity in such 
usage; every writer does as best he can, and much confu- 
sion and uncertainty of thought results. In order to 
avoid misunderstanding, Chinese writers often add the 
foreign term to the expression into which they have trans- 
lated it in their works. But the genius of the Chinese 
language is opposed to the introduction of foreign words, 
and a way must be found, even at the cost of immense 
intellectual labor, of developing a concise and accurate 
technical vocabulary in the various sciences. 

I 11 p roviding educational mate rinlfl, the Japanese and 
the Germans have been most active. Tons of school- 
books, histories, geographies^ and scientifi£_app&atus 
Kave been prepared by the Japanese for the Chinese 
market. The German Government recently fitted out a~ 
traveling exhibition of school supplies, such as maps, 
models, chairs, and scientific instruments, which was 
sent through the provinces of China, and which every- 
where excited the interest of persons engaged in edu- 
cation. It is hardly necessary to say anything about 
the importance, to any nation, of leadership in the 
matter of Chinese scientific training. No civilizing 
aim of wider bearing can be subserved at the present 
time by any country than to attract Chinese stud- 
ents and to give them a thorough training in scien- 
tific methods of investigation; nor will the country 
that accomplishes this task lack a liberal recompense 



THE NEW EDUCATION IN CHINA 223 

in the way of cultural and ethical influence of a thor- 
oughly legitimate kind 

When we consider the entire educational movement in 
contemporary China, we are forced to admit that, with 
all the daring innovations that have been made, the great 
battle is yet to come. The first enthusiasm must be 
turned into the sustained energy of daily effort on the 
part of millions of students and hundreds of thousands of 
instructors. The substitution oLtbe attitude of scientific 
work-for-the<eld literary amateurism cannot be the mglr 
ter of a few years. £pr a long time China will have to 
suffer from the ravages of pseudo-science. A distinctive 
and promising feature of the "Young China" spirit is 
the emphasis of scientific and historical training. But 
while the prime desideratum ought to be rigid training 
in scientific methods of observation, yet, in the selection 
of courses, the cultural subjects should not be entirely 
neglected in favor of the branches which, on the surface 
are more practical. One of the greatest friends of Chin- 
ese education, Mr. Tong Kai-son, has expressed regret 
that so many of the men going to the West are intent 
upon technical subjects alone. There is so great a need 
in China for transmitters of modern culture, for true na- 
tional teachers who have mastered the philosophy and 
history of the West, and who can combat the superficial 
conclusions of immature minds. The attitude of the 
Government itself is more favorable to purely technical 
studies, like engineering, physical science, and jurisprud- 



224 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

ence. So it may be that the larger number of students 
who are sent abroad through government assistance will 
continue to devote themselves to those subjects, and 
that the more general cultural branches will be pursued 
more generally by those who provide their own means 
and who, therefore, in many instances, will not get 
farther than Japan. This would seem to indicate that in 
the general interpretation of cultural and philosophical 
ideas, Japan will continue to hold a prominent position 
in the Orient. 



f.C*^- 1 ^7** 




3 • Ct i*i * %n*t >*U 





2 ^^iriter^^^i 



^^-■ OHgyra R vi 

ENT FOB CHINA 



ft 




-~ ***^Phough history repeats itself, it does so only in the 

great outlines of events. There is no iteration of con-r^M< 
crete facts, and as the pageant of history passes, we be- 
hold an unending variety of incident. Thus, while the 5 ; 
events which have happened in the political world of 
China during the last three years may be expressed in 
the general form of ideas with which we are abundantly 
familiar, such as political agitation and constitutional 
reform, the actual facts of the situation in China in de- 
tail are unprecedented. They constitute an entirely 
novel eventuality in the history of the world. 
T he change which Ch ina is wdfflrg^g fit prfmratr 
_may be expressed by saying th a^Chinese, society » hqg, 
coming political. Hitherto it has lived from g eneration 
to gene ration by custom, with no consciou sness of poi it- 
ical aims o r purposes ; nor has the Government itself been 
influenced in its action by definite policies. Secure in its 
authority, it has selected its servants on the basis of ex- 
amination tests, reenforced by such favor as promising 
candidates might be able to obtain through douceurs of 
various kinds. Now, all of a sudden, the political im- 
pulse is strongly awakening in the breast of the Chinese 




i 



226 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

people. They see before them the nations which are 
consciously guiding their policy from the point of view 
of national life and national interests. It will no longer 
do to drift, to let customs take care of themselves, to 
deal with foreign nations from day to day in compro- 
mises, which never go to the root of a policy, but simply 
gloss over the difficulties of the moment. The intellectual 
and responsible among the Chinese people are feeling a 
deep need for a conscious expression of national policy, 
and for the use of careful reason and long-headed fore- 
sight, as well as calm firmness, in the management of 
their national affairs. 
The impulse c ame from ™t-hftlltn <^hmesejjelf-com- 

placency a !lff»™** * "id* annnlr in th* .TupftnABg xf^rj^ 

1894. On account of thejack o f cen tralization ft nH #>f 
a common patriotism^ this shock, roulri p^hphiy hnyp 
remained without a deepjnflufince up^mXdhine&fiiifehad 
it not been followed by other and more serious catastro- 
phes. It was, however, the signal for inroads upon China 
by all sorts of political and economic influences from 
without. The division of China impended. The masses 
of the people, at first vaguely restless, were soon deeply 
moved by fears and passions akin to panic, unrestrained, 
yes, even assisted, by high officials who were themselves 
not clear in their political aims. So they rushed head- 
long into new trouble by attacking the foreigners and 
their legations. Again China was to receive a poignant 
impression of her own weakness. This warning was 



A PARLIAMENT FOR CHINA 227 

accentuated when Russia made herself at home in Man- 
churia, and refused to listen to Chinese demands. The 
militant and political genius of Japan evinced itself; 
by contrast with Japanese victories and diplomatic suc- 
cesses, the Chinese at last came to perceive the depth of 
inefficiency to which their national life had sunk. Most 
touchingly this feeling expressed itself in the formation 
of "nati nnft 1 hUF"Kftt'i on societ ies." Hundreds of thous- 
ands became members, and women gave up the wearing 
of rings or other ornaments, with the exception of one 
upon which were engraved the words "national humilia- 
tion." Thus was China shocked into a feeling of her own 
weakness, and of the dangers that beset her on account 
of the absence of a strong national political spirit. 

The questi on was how to escape fr™™ fllifl h"""l"+"vr 
condition. That some change was necessary was recog- 
nized even by the most conservative, but the remedies 
suggested went all the way to the revolutionary proposal 
of the establishment of a republic. T he Government wa s 
fully impressed with the seriousness of the situation. It 
tried to find its path to a policy of national reK>rm*JLt 
abolished the artificial system of education u nder which 
the officials of China had hitherto been trained, estab- 
lished public schools, and provided for instruction in 
science, law, history, and politics. It sent study^m- 
TY^ooi^gjr, fon^ '"rwitriffiT ttr gnt.hpr ftpftiirate info^n- 

ationj Buitable to £JbJBg& conditions, from a ll th e coun- 
tries-^ the world. The reports of these embassies were 



228 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

published in large editions, and were eagerly read by the 
educated throughout China, forming a basis for polit- 
ical information. 

The task of reform before the Government was, in- 
deed, an appalling one. To transform the easy-going 
system of administration, under which the Empire had 
lived for centuries in time of peace and in the absence 
of all foreign competition, into a centralized, modern 
engine of national action, is in itself an undertaking that 
calls for the greatest originality and statesmanship. 3ut 
theeducat gl people of Ch i na were nnt , Hat . iafipri fri have 

t he Government concern itself with tb «? ^muiifl*f ftft nTI 

alone. They instin ctively centre d Ml th p, * r n»Tnimrfa_ 
about the c ry for a P *tinnft1 pftr|mmeni How could the 
nation be one before there had been created an organ to 
express its national public opinion? It was argued that, 
as all efficient countries are provided with parliaments, 
as Japan had strengthened herself by creating such an 
institution, the establishment of a national assembly 
must be the first step of actual reform. Thus reasoned 
reformers of all degrees of radicalism. 

The Government recognized the justice of these de- 
mandsTTt understood that in the iffeaF mwementrf or 
public efficiency which it hpd undertaken , it ought to be 
able t o rely upon the cooperation of the Chinese people 
and of the nntunjjpniffrfl ftf Chim»m» sonifity What 
better institution could be conceived for gathering up all 
this powerful social support than a deliberative assembly? 



A PARLIAMENT FOR CHINA 229 

But the Government was as yet by no means decided as 
to the character and form which should be given to this 
institution. By the highly impo rtant riprm ftf flnpirm- 
ber 1, 1906, it, however, putjtsel^ on record * *» f nvnriflg 

a Constitution aid thftjmrtinipfitJQn nf +hft p^plo ^ 

matters of g overnment. 

The lagt fiypi yipnrn hnviT fruim *tfl ?f Tigrvftw n Hfon 
and reaction. Attempts to arrive at clear ideas with 
respect to great questions of policy have been interrupted 
again and again by personal controversy, court intrigues, 
and the panicky fear of revolutionary movements. The 
for ces which the Governm ent has to deal with are com- 
plex in the extre me^ Thp> imp arl*! iJ«n fawlf r h^ing flop- 
Chinese, must avo i d the appearance of followin g a my ft 
family or clan poli cy. The privileged position occupied 
by Manchu officials had long been irksome to the influ- 
ential Chinese. The mitigation of these jealousies, the 
unification of these two elements in the official world, or 
at all events the adjustment of their mutual claims, was 
therefore one of the first problems to be faced. T^fo"- 
press Dowager always had reason to fear t ha t the great 
nrvtinn ol irnninanno in Chin a mi g ht tato im anti-riynjfl- 
tic di rection. The efforts of high Manchu officials to 
avoid such a result led them, in 1900, to make common 
cause with the Boxers. From the point of view of the 
imperial house, it is a most serious question how far the 
nationalist enthusiasm and propaganda can be harmon- 
ized with continuance of Manchu dominatfon. That 



230 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

the true solution lies in the absorption of the Manchus 
by the mass of the Chinese people, and in the suppres- 
sion of artificial privileges, is recognized by the Gov- 
ernment, many of whose recent measures have been 
based upon such a policy. 

The Government, acting through its high Chinese 
and Manchu officials, has to deal, further, with all the 
interests, desires, and tendencies among the four hun- 
dred million people of the eighteen provinces and of the 
dependencies. That the desire for a unified national life 
and for an effective expr^sion thereof has become so 
strong that resistance to it would invite revolution is 
fully recognized; but, as elsewhere, the people is com- 
posed of many elements, discordant and confused in 
their aims and ideas. The masses of the people, the peas- 
ants, tradesmen, and coolie labbrere ^ave not as yet 
come intoTpolitical con sciousness. They are simple- 
minded, easily guided this way or that by their leaders, 
but also apt to run into sudden frenzies of anger or 
panic, which, when once unloosened, have all the force 
of an earthquake or typhoon. The intellectual class, on 
the other ha nd, composed of men of e^ flfttinn *™* r>f 
c ommerci al an d industrial importance, is, as that cl ass 
usually has been, desirous of placing the institu tions of 
the country upon a basis l^J^^dJLhaalhaLof a pure 
democracy. Only the most radi^jef^iners-clamoiL for 
universal suffrage. The middle class is merely demand- 
ing parliamentary institutions through which the intel- 



A PARLIAMENT FOR CHINA 



231 



lect of the nation may manifest itself in politics. On ac- 
count of the constitution of Chinese society, the influence 
of these men on their own neighborhoods is greater even 
than that of the middle class in other countries. It is 
they who do the political thinking, and whose ideas are 
willingly followed and supported by the less educated. 
If the Government could appeal directly to the masses 
of the people, it might ignore the middle class; but 
it is impossible to organize the Chinese state on an 
efficient basis, to concentrate all the vast human energy 
which it contains, without taking into account the de- 
sires of these natural leaders in the various communities. 
The Government has definitely embarked upon the 
policy of parliamentary institutions. Foreign as this 
conception is to the inherent character of Oriental au- 
thority, the exigencies of political life have prevailed, 
and the counselors of the Empire have placed the insti- 
tution of a parliament among the leading reforms which 
are to give China a new vitality. By imperial edict in 
Septemb er, 1907, it was decreed that the constitutiona l 

governm ent of the State shoul d rant npnn the prjijyiplp 

of mutual counsel. Tyo houses of parliament are held to 
be the proper f oundatii 



d, though the 

ti me is not yet ripe for the creation of b oth, as a basis for 
flip future institution thfl Ay ee provided for the SUHK^ 

moiling of a w»*.fanal fiyifmltAtivft ftnaftffthly ti\ hA Imnfwn 

as" 




n 



ft 



IVl 



" This body was to be composed of delegates 



232 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 




nominated partly b y fhft nnvprnmpnt itself, partly 
selected by the provincial assemblies . The Manchu 
prince, Pulun, and a high Chinese official were appointed 
respectively president and vice-president. The consti- 
tution, rules, and regulations of this body were to be 
worked out before the time of its meeting. Though no 
definite expression was made on this point, the functions 
of the national assembly were probably conceived as 
similar to those of the advisory councils of the Indian 
Government, to whom legislative and administrative 
measures are submitted for advice, but whose determin- 
ations do not of themselves have the force of law. B%_ 

another ftdiftt there were ttflahlfaW i" +>" 
vinflPB Iwiiftft aimiUr t/» %> putinim! jmmpi 

to deal with all proposals fojy^Yifi'flftl Ipg^M'™ 1 Ac- 
cording to the first form of the edict, thes e were to be ap- 
pomtettijy the pro vincST jwa^^ frffTf" ^^g "nfc 
ables and heavy tajq^yers ftf thff provip™*' They, too, 
were to act only in an advisory cap acity. A certain por- 
tion of the membership of the national assembly was to 
be selected from these provincial bodies. 

Jhe reception given to these ed i cts among the inte ll- 
igent people of China was far frgjn enthuqifl g^ic. They 
expected a more definite enunciation of the policy of the 
Government as to the organization and the powers of 
the national assembly, and, before all, they insisted upon 
the right of electing rAprABAn+AtivPfl jpatefljl nf hftY* n ft 
them appointed. They were glad enough to see provin* 



A PARLIAMENT FOR CHINA 233 

rial councils established; but the organ most necessary 
in their opinion for the upbuilding of Chinese national life 
is a sovereign parliament representing the entire people 
of the Chinese provinces. They did not, indeed, urge 
universal suffrage, and a taxpaying or educational quali- 
fication for electors would have been perfectly accept- 
able; but upon election they did insist, claiming that 
councils composed of appointed officials would not 
represent public opinion, but would constitute merely 
glorified debating societies. The^ more truculent among 
th e editors ch arged th e Go vernment with evasion and 
disingenuousness, in that, after having promised a con- 
stitution, it was now trying to put off the people with a 
deceptive appearance of parliamentary institutions. 
They expressed distrust of mandarins, and charged that 
the whole reform movement was being turned into a 
means for personal advantage and into degrading in- 
trigues. The Government, being aggrieved by such a 
lack of confidence, in December, 1907, issued a decree 
counseling conservatism; it urged that the people should 
participate in public affairs, not as mobs and in a dis- 
orderly fashion, but with respect for law and in that 
regular and organized manner which characterizes the 
use of parliamentary institutions in Europe. 

In the year when the establishment of these repre- 
sentative bodies was decree^the Government Tiad also _ 



created a council known an "HfflfJH?hft n g Piftn-fthiu, 

unmission for the Study of Constitu- 




234 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

tional Government." The work assigned to this body 
was the investigation of political conditions and needs in 
the provincial and national life of China, and the study of 
foreign institutions which might be, in whole or in part, 
applicable to these needs. The council is, in a way, a con- 
stitutional convention, which, on the basis of its find- 
ings of fact, works out projects for fundamental laws 
which are then submitted to the Throne and to the 
Great Council for their sanction. Its character, to a cer- 
tain extent, combines the functions of a commission of 
inquiry with those of a legislative body. The depart- 
ment is made up of high Manchu and Chinese officials 
whom the Government has long known and trusted. At 
one time, indeed, in the spring of 1908, when the critic- 
isms which we have noted were current, an appointment 
was made which indicated the desire of the Government 
to accord representation also to the more advanced 
views among the reformers. The appointment was that 
of Yang Tau, a man who had lived abroad as a student 
and a follower of Eang Yeu-wei, the original reform 
leader of China. While still loyal to the dynasty, he re- 
presents advanced views on institutional reform. His 
firm attitude in this matter was preserved by him in his 
official position. Shortly after his appointment, he 
delivered an address of five hours before the commis- 
sion, in the course of which he declared that he had come 
up to the capital, not for office nor for honor, but for the 
settlement of this life-and-death question for China. If 



A PARLIAMENT FOR CHINA 235 

he could not assist the Government in forming the par- 
liament, he would rather leave and help the people in 
various provinces to obtain it, regardless of whatever 
danger he might himself incur. While he has remained 
firm in his unqualified belief that the national parlia- 
ment is the indispensable condition of all other reforms, 
he has become one of the strongest defenders of the ad- 
ministrative policy of the Government. 

The Commission of f?nn«t,itiitinnft1 Study rat, tft WO!* 

w ith energy on th e Jjrqblem of. how . tfl tr <mg fo rm fhft 
antiquated machinery of the Chinese Government into 
an efficient organization in which all the various factors 



would ^qnpgrftfe hamnnniniigly — In May, 1908, a Vote 

was taken in the council as to how soon a constitution 
should be granted. Yang Tau and three others voted for 
the shortest period — two years. Seven counselors fa- 
vored a period of five years, eight a period of seven 
years, twelve a period of ten years, and one believed it 
wise to defer the grant of parliamentary institutions for 
twenty years. It is interesting to note that the mem- 
bers who voted for the shortest period had been edu- 
cated according to the old school, or in Japanese institu- 
tions, while those who had an American or a European 
education generally voted for a longer term, in most 
cases for that of ten years. 

As was to be foreseen, the Government sided with the 
more conservative view, and in its edict of August 27, 
1908, it decreed th at duri ng tE eTnex fnine years reforms 



236 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

should bemdertaken step by step which wn nld pi* pure 
fortEe granting of a cons titut ion by the year 1917. The 



edict proceeds: "The Constitutional Laws will then be 
definitely decided upon by us, and the date for the open- 
ing of the parliament will also be announced by that 
time." A detailed scheme for the reforms referred to in 
the decree had been worked out by the Commission of 
Constitutional Study, and was promulgated at the same 
time. It indicates, with considerable definiteness, the 
parts of the reform which are to be accomplished every 
year. Thus the work was to begin, in the first year, with 
the promulgation of regulations concerning local self- 
government in cities, towns, and districts, and of regu- 
lations for a census; the Ministry of Finance was to 
reform methods of taxation and accounting; citizens' 
readers on government were to be published; codes of 
civil, commercial, and criminal law were to be edited. 
Th e work of administrati v e reform was to go on g rad- 
ually, until, during *h» i^rf^ fjw^jfap y Mra } *km> a^ to 



be promulgated the Conntitutionjignlf, thr lawn trf the 



imperial household, and the rules andj*eguktion£j>L£h£. 
parh amenFand of electi ons. Ther e is likewisejto _becrfe 
ated a special ^n^jj^jigperia 1 n^g*™, pmhnhiy gug- 
gestedby the Japanese PrivvCounci l (com posed nf th ft 
Genrd), ancTa national b udget is tob§j£gpaEed. It was 
therefore expected that when parliament should come 
into being, the new administrative machinery would al- 
ready be in running order, and the Government would 



A PARLIAMENT FOR CHINA 237 

have the political situation well in hand. In the prepara- 
tion of the various measures of reform, the administra- 
tive departments cooperate with the Commission of Con- 
stitutional Study. The latter body thus has acted as the 
central organ for a great amount of legislative activity of 
a constitutive character. When the parliament at last 
assembles, most of the important questions of organiza- 
tion will already have been settled. Throughout the pre- 
paratory era, special attention is to be given to public 
educatio n, to the end that, hy 1Q17, q^a hftlf of tho mahn 

population ^ f^hinft p^aJ] ht> fihlfi fr> rftflH And vnji* The 

Government has always insisted that representative in- 
stitutions should not be granted before the people had 
acquired sufficient knowledge to understand their nat- 
ure and to use them properly. Education is evidently 
looked upon as a conservative, as well as enlightening, 
influence. 
The decree of 1907 with respect to the Commi ssion o f 

ConstltU^ SaljS t llf l y w *» followed, . within a iw mrffoj>hy 

an edict establishing in the various pmvinras advisoqt 
bo dies, which were to d e al with all proposa ls fo r prog jn- 
ciall g i pfllatioiL These bodies were to be appointed, 
>y the provincial governors, from among the notables 
and heavy taxpayers of the provinces. It was also indic- 
ated that the members of the national council might 
be selected from these provincial bodies. The policy of 
this edict was reaffirmed and made more definite by an 
edict issued in July, 1908, which also introduced the 



238 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

* 

elective principle. The decree runs in part as follows: 
"The consultative council is an institution in which 
public opinion will be ascertained, and from which the 

members of the central council may be recruited. Let 
our people point out clearly through the councils what 
are the evils that should be abolished in their respective 
provinces and what are the reforms that they desire. 
But let them also remember the duty which they owe 
to the court and to the country. Violent discussion 
should be prevented, lest the order and safety of so- 
ciety might be disturbed." 

The plan worked out by the Commission of Constitu- 
tional Study determines with considerable detail the 
qualifications which must be possessed by members of 
the provincial council — such as official and scholastic 
status, property, etc. The councils will be consultative 
merely, and will be largely under the influence of the 
provincial officials. The electorate is limited to those 
who possess the qualification of experience in public 
office, a high-school degree, or the ownership of property 
worth five thousand dollars silver. Of great interest is 
the article which declares that men shall be disqualified 
from voting "who are perverse and misguided in be- 
havior, who decide matters with unreasoning impulse, 
and who judge of men with partiality"; moreover, those 
are excluded, "who in business are not just and honor- 
able, who have been accused and not yet cleared, who 
use opium, who have heart disease, who belong to a 



A PARLIAMENT FOR CHINA 230 

family of sullied reputation, or who do not know the 
language." These provisions are still governed by the 
Confucian ideal of the close connection between govern- 
ment and morality: the virtuous and those of unblem- 
ished reputation alone are to take part in public affairs. 
The political experience of the West has led us to 
separate political from ethical considerations, and has 
proved that provisions like these cannot be justly ad- 
ministered in a modern state. 

The first prov incial elections took place in the spring 
of 19Q9: thev did not , of c ourse, elicit so much fR>pq lar~- 
i nterest as would h ave been sho wn fa qaae anationaT" 

porHo^PT^ Trrnro +n hn nhnann Hiif the VCTy fact that 

the principle of elective representation has thus been in- 
troduced into Chinese political life in a quiet and orderly 
manner is of supreme importance. Similarly quiet and 
unpretending was the actual commencement of parlia- 
mentary institutions in China. Without blare of trum- 
pets or august ceremony, the legislative councils or as- 
semblies began their functions in the fall of 1909 in every 
one of the great provinces of China. These groups of 
representative men, elected according to the rules deter- 
mined by the Central Government, came together in an 
unostentatious manner and settled down to the discussion 
of the common public affairs of their respective pro- 
vinces. They cautiously felt their way, conscious of the 
great experiment China had undertaken; and yet, by 
national temper and individual training, prepared to 



240 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 



deal with matters affecting the public interest with 
practical common sense. R ather than rushing im medi- 
ately fotp l*»gi«1«*iTO o/^iiriiy^ ihooft fira* ogggmKliqa woro 

satisfied c grafnlly tn «inr?Y f h ft %H fl11f 1 ^ fltnHy thft 
question « f ftp finpnT^^RtSn^ to one another the varj oufl 
insti tutions and methods newly created. They, how- 
ever, took occasion frequently to indicate their belief in 
their own powers held in reserve. 
When, in the subsequent year, the se pf™** oAaginrai of 

of their p rm nrij %q that i n tunny r n n r n t h r y inHrrt rmk 
cons tructive plans «f lpgiflfat™ 11 Rnr l wnr^H ™*i a 

definite pn lSny [j[ ^mlniafmfiirn r^off^na J n gggecal 

(Cases CO"fl iTtfl mwiimftd Kofwppn ffrft )^pl yjfymy or 

gove rnor, and the assembly ; as in Kwangsi and Honan , 
wfie^flffigMiq? aroafiueai 



ans. 



The gentry of the provinces are, in general, opposed to 
having the Central Government take up foreign loans 
for internal improvements, because, on the one hand, 
they lack confidence in the technical efficiency of the 
metropolitan authorities and their representatives, 
while, on the other, they fear an undue growth of foreign 
influence. They, therefore, advocate a policy which 
would attempt to raise at least the larger portion, if not 
the entirety, of the loans in the different provinces them- 
selves, leaving the enterprise chiefly under provincial 
control. Thus the question of foreign relations enters 
strongly even into the politics of the provincial assem- 




A PARLIAMENT FOR CHINA 241 

blies. In Kiangsu, trouble arose about opium, in the 
suppression of which the governor did not seem ener- 
getic and efficient enough; in Yunnan it was because an 
attempt was made to increase the amount of the salt tax. 
Whenever a local legislature got into difficulty wit h its 



flovmmr, it appenlH to thu national fwrnnHy at Bering 

for moral SUDPOrt. W hicfr w<m nftTrr>r wnntinfr no tliA cen- 
tral body always sided with the jocal as semblies ip «ur h 
controvers ies. It is interesting to note in this connection 
that the right and practice of petition is of real import- 
ance in contemporary China. With us, this ancient 
privilege has rather degenerated in efficiency; through 
indiscriminate use, it has become dulled and blunted; 
but in China the traditions of the censorate give special 
dignity to any form of memorializing public authorities. 
The provincial assemblies not only receive petitions, but 
actually read them and pay attention to them. So the 
petition has become one of the methods through which 
public opinion strives to express itself in China. 

On the whole, the action of the provincial assemblies 
has by no means been entirely oppositional. They have 
been animated with a desire to do constructive work; 
they assist the officials and stimulate them to greater 
activity. Thus, for instance, the great success which 
opium suppression has had in Szechuan is, in great part, 
credited to the manner in which the assembly used all 
its influence to assist in the carrying-out of measures of 
restraint. Not only did it act as a body, but the indiv- 



242 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 



idual members used their personal influence with their 
constituents in order to bring about universal public 
cooperation in this matter. Wise pnvArnnrs ft^ g^ fo 
utilize this new insti 




poses of admin istration ; th ey strive to rgmftjp nn gpM 

ah cTtniStful t enng..wit h f>IA ftflflgmhly and to invito it* 

cooperation jnjmportant. makers. There has also been 
formed an Association of the A ssemblie s, to which 
provincial body sends several d elegates. In the meetings 
of this society questions are discussed upon which a 
nation-wide interchange of opinion and experience seems 
profitable. Thus there has already come about a sys- 
tematic attempt to introduce uniformity into the action 
of the provincial assemblies in so far as the diverse local 
conditions may permit. 

Of great int erest is the manner in jvhichpublic opinion 
i n mang jrrnvinref* hm attem pted to *rmtmi ipjySl3T.i^fi 
acti on,,.Qf special significance in this connection are the 
occurrences in Ewantung during 1910 and 1911. The 
public of this proving Hi««*ti«fip^ with the action o f 
members of the assembly, actuaUyjor ced their resig ga- 
tion t introm iting ^ HEfe way jiaort of ^ffimftl refill. The 
trouble arose in connection with gambling, which vice 
had assumed such serious proportions in Canton and 
other centres that, to conscientious men, it seemed in'its 
evil effects second only to opium-smoking. The Gov- 
ernment had pursued a policy of toleration, licensing 
public gaming-houses, and employing the proceeds from 



A PARLIAMENT FOR CHINA 243 

fees in the policing of the coast region. With the general 
moral awakening in China, public sentiment began 
strongly to condemn the continuance of this vicious sys- 
tem. Members of the Kwantung provincial assembly 
were, therefore, prevailed upon to introduce a bill to do 
away with the licensing of such resorts and to prohibit 
public gambling. Certain powerful financial interests, 
alarmed at this, and fearing that such a reform might 
have a bad effect upon business, began to use every con- 
ceivable means to influence members of the assembly 
against the measure. After fi fAmppwtnnng HoWa In ^t- 
ing for four days, the bill was rejected. But immedia tely 
a great public outcry arose; it was openly jthflrgrd thnt 
th irty-six of the members of the a ssembly who vote d 
again st the bill had been illegally influenced. All throu gh 
thep rovince a strong demand was voiced that these men 
ahnnlH resign, hoing unworthy of future rnnfiHpnfy.. 

Those assemblymen who had favored the passage of the 
bill themselves threatened to leave office, declaring that 
they could not longer respect, or work with, the others. 
The manifestations of public feeling became so strong 
t hi^tEe^h irtyTStt .suspects were actually force d out and 
a new election was ordered. The mat ter als o resulted in^ 
a chang e in the person occupying the viceroyal offi ce. In 
The place of an official who had only mildly favored the 
passage of the bill, there was appointed a vigorous and 
energetic man who promised to support the measure 
and to aid in making it possible for the Government to 



244 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

get along without this particular source of income. The 
reconstructed assembly, early in 1911, enacted a law 
under which all public gambling is forbidden in the pro- 
vince of Ewantung. In cooperation with the viceroy, 
it also devised means for raising money by new taxes so 
as. to supply the deficit created by the suppression of 
gambling licenses. In this episode the province proved 
that in cases of great moral importance, the demands of 
public opinion will be carried out even at the cost of re- 
constituting a legislative body. 

The opening of the first sess ion of the preliminary na- 

tirwwrf-fliraiTihiv at Pfrlqnff yr** ffaflH hy tha_ finvftrnnfjgnt 

to ta ke place on Oc tnhgr a, 1 Qi n n Jhia event was looked 
forward to with the greatest expectation. For the first 
time, at least for thousands of years, representative men 
of the entire Chinese people were to meet together to 
discuss national affairs in public. It was the most strik- 
ing manifestation of that national unity which the Chin- 
ese are now striving to attain. On th ejiay appointed, 
th e assembly was opened by the Prince Regent with a 
dignified and sympathetic Apeech, in which he dwqfc on 

t he need Of a frank nnHprgtftndinfl and P-ftftpfirftti™ 1 hft- 

tween the Go vernment and the people. The assembly 
was composed of 202 members, the majority (10 2) of 
whom we re appointed hy ty nnv ernment from amon g 
men of offi cial rank, whUe^tha^xemaindec^JuuLbeen 
nhnapp hy ±>in pwmH^ml <»MgTnhljg« There were imperial 



A PARLIAMENT FOR CHINA 245 

princes, dukes and noblemen, Manchu and Chinese 
officials, side by side with men who had won prominence 
in the constitutional movement in their respective pro- 
vinces. The body followed the rules of procedure laid 
down for it by official edicts, which were based upon 
general parliamentary practice. It used the committee 
system for the preparation of projects. In plenary ses- 
sion, men spoke either from their seats, or, in the case of 
more formal addresses, from a tribune, and what they 
said was taken down by stenographers. The side galle- 
ries and balconies were filled with spectators, members of 
the official world and of the diplomatic corps, army offi- 
cers, and others who had gained the favor of admittance. 
As the summoning of this body marked a radical de- 
parture in the political practices of China which had 
existed for thousands of years, it may be interesting to 
follow the action of the assembly a little more in detail 
The first subject of discussion was a controversy be- 
tween the governor of Kiangsu and the local assembly 
on the question of opium restriction. Kiangsu is a pro- 
vince which has profoundly suffered from the ravages of 
opium-smoking; the representatives in the assembly had 
charged the governor with not strictly and faithfully 
enforcing the regulations for the suppression of the traf- 
fic. The national assembly took the same attitude and 
was practically unanimous in its condemnation of the 
governor. In the discussions on this matter, some of the 
imperial princes participated, exhibiting a desire to win 



246 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

the sympathy and confidence of the popular represent- 
atives. The asse mbly then took up the burni ng question 
of lUTjj^uyiu ^Tl in nrfin liim i if il m n / itioMffcl^niliimM'nt 
There had been a great amount of agitation throughout 
China in favor of the immediate convocation of a na- 



tional parliament with fuUjpowers. The Government 
had argued that a change so important would have to be 
more gradually approached; that the administrative sys- 
tem of the Empire needed to be remodeled; and, above 
all, that general education and intelligence in political 
matters would have to be much more fully developed. 
The Gover nment, therefore, ma sted .tha t +hft A**+ of 
1917 was as eariyjw it yw rififti r ftN? fo ente r vp™» *fr" n 
i mportant change; but the classes that contr ol pub lic 
opinion con tinued to u rge an earlier d ate. At first sight 
this im patience is rather difficult tQ-undfi£stand^itJfl^_ 

h owever, jnjyftQrdanre With tfrft ganfiral nhftrnntprigtijMi 

of the nhm^^ wjh^whAn thpy h«™» ™** "indfi up thrir 
mindn that ft thing iff jiifft, w*H *m?flt upon immrdimts 



figjjflTi. Thi>y were inclined to treat the Government as 
withholding rights to which the Chinese people were 
entitled, and the argument that these rights should only 
gradually be established was compared in the press with 
the reasoning of the thief cited by Mencius, who, when 
caught in systematic stealing from a neighbor, was 
ready to promise that he would take a little less every 
year until he had accustomed himself to the new situa- 
tion. But there is another reason for this impatience in 



A PARLIAMENT FOR CHINA 247 

the deep lack of confidence which the people feel in the 
ability of the Government to protect China against ex- 
ploitation by foreign powers. As things have been going, 
the Chinese feel that every year, yes, every month, pre- 
cious advantages may be lost to the nation through offi- 
cial incompetence; and they cling with an ardent hope 
to the belief that once a national parliament is estab- 
lished, public affairs will be conducted in a more efficient 
manner. Ifr js this fear of successful foreign aggr ession 
that is o ne of the main causes for resfe tinp; fllft Pftfitp™ 1 *- 
ment of parliamenta ry lW.it.^jonfl n^fii iqit The mat- 
ter was eloquently argued in the assembly on the ground 
that the Government was not justified in withholding 
from the people this right. As there were in the Govern- 
ment a great many persons who themselves felt that the 
sooner the new institutions were definitely established, 
the better for the successful conduct of affairs, the Gov- 
ernment was prevailed upon to yield, and the summon- 
ing of a national parliament of two houses was fixed for 
the year 1913. Even this did not satisfy the radicals, 
who opposed any delay at all; but the Government did 
not yield further, and by edict it directed that those out- 
siders who were still carrying on an agitation in Peking 
should be ordered to leave and let the matter rest. 

This success of the Tsecheng Yuan made it ambitious 
to gain greater recognition for itself. Continuing to take 
up individual cases where controversies had happened 
between governors and provincial assemblies, it alwayB 



248 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

took the side of the latter and tried to obtain the con- 
demnation of the respective governors. Thus, in the pro- 
vince of Honan the governor had neglected to consult the 
assembly with respect to a provincial loan; the national 
assembly accordingly called for punitive action by the 
Government. The edict which was issued in response to 
this resolution stated that, while the governor had been 
negligent in omitting a step in the procedure, the policy 
of the loan was in accordance with the plans of the Cen- 
tral Government and that therefore no change would be 
made, although in the future governors would be di- 
rected to consult the local assembly in such cases. This 
response was entirely unsatisfactory to the popular 
party; they refused to be mollified by fair-spoken pro- 
mises and insisted that this particular governor should 
have been punished; after a long debate, the conclusion 
resulted that the Great Council was responsible for this 
leniency and should be called to account. A vote was 
passed censuring the Great Council and summoning its 
members before the assembly to explain their non-action. 
When they refused to respond, the assembly went a step 
farther by demanding that they should be dismissed, 
and that a responsible cabinet should be appointed in 
their place. 

It is certainl y a significa nt fact ihflt An assembly 
g omposed with such conservative m f i fflin n hm i ld hnvo 
immediate ly developed so stro ng.aa attitude^ oppo o i 
tion. It virtually declar e^ itself the sov ereign represent- 



A PARLIAMENT FOR CHINA 



249 



ative of th e people, after the fashion of the French Con- 
&BtugnLa\safiI&bly; and insisted not only that jt should 
be consulted in all important matters of legislation, but 
that the hi gh officials of state gfrniiM }m* held rpttpcmm^ 
for carrying out its determi nations. This attitude af- 
fords an insight into the independent spirit which anim- 
ates the Chinese public. The members who repre- 
sented the provincial assemblies argued the popular view 
of institutions with such ability and emphasis that they 
carried with them a great many of the official delegates. 
Of course, the Government itself was anxious to meet the 
nation halfway and to avoid an open rupture. But when, 
step by step, the assembly attempted to establish itself 
as the centre of authority; when the popular represent- 
atives drew a distinction between the power of making 
laws and that of issuing mere administrative ordinances, 
claiming the former function as belonging to their body; 
when they held that from the provision that their advice 
must be sought it followed that their advice must be 
taken; the Government finally took a decided position 
Ageing* Mif>h ftrfrftmft nlaima W hen the members of th e 

Great ffrlini" 1 ** ft/l "&**** ***m rooigr nft ^.inna [ the Prince 

Regent refused to accept tfre jn. In doing so he issued an 
edict in which he asserted that the conduct of public 
business, and especially the making of appointments, 
belongs to the functions of the Government and is not 
for the assembly, "nor others." The last phrase was 
most offensive to the assembly. Great excitement pre- 



250 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

vailed and many speeches were made advising immedi- 
ate adjournment, since all effective power bad been 
denied; but finally Yi Chung-kwei said, "No, we shall 
not go away, for then we should shirk our duty like the 
Council. We stay here." A new address to the Prince 
Regent was adopted, asking for a responsible cabinet. 
The Government did not unequivocally yield to this 
demand, although an edict was issued charging the 
Commission of Constitutional Study to make preparat- 
ory arrangements for the earlier summoning of parlia- 
ment as agreed upon, and also for the institution of a 
cabinet. The question of the relation of this new cabi- 
net to parliament was not at the time determined. After 
this action, the government supporters in the assembly 
took a stronger position and no further resolutions were 
adopted on these fundamental public policies. 

^hg^fiiMAmbly ap^Titi f^f^g£_jn riiffniflfiing thft aholu 
tion of th e queue^-An impassioned debate took place in 
which Prince Tsai Yunnan spoke in favor of the change. 
Many comical incidents occurred. An old official from 
the financial department was very much agitated about 
the matter. In great excitement, he cried, "Cut off your 
queues! Cut off your queues! I shall not do it. If you 
insist, I shall not stay here, but go away." But then, 
probably realizing that he would not find much comfort 
in leaving China, he cried to Prince Pulun in a tearful 
voice, "Mr. President, this cannot be; cannot you help 
us?' 1 To which the Prince coldly remarked, "I have 



A PARLIAMENT FOR CHINA 251 

nothing to do with it at all. 9 ' A vote was passed calling 
for the abolition of the queue in the army, among Peking 
officials, among students and teachers; which was fran- 
tically applauded in the galleries. The Government did 
not carry out this resolution. It even issued an edict 
against a change of national dress, saying, however, no- 
thing about the queue. Thereafter the young patriots 
all over China, young and old, but mostly the former 
engaged in queue-cutting ceremonies. It now became a 
visible mark of progressive spirit to be rid of the obso- 
lete appendage, gome patriotic souls had the idea of de- 
vntinft t^ piwooHa fmm f.hft s a l e of the hair to paying 

Off the nftfirmal faffafrfcjnoflQ 

The national assembly also devoted itself to a discus- 

jrinp of Ihp hiiHgpf, whi cKTiati b^ en worked out and mib- 

mittgrf hy t% Q?Ygnim ftl Hi Thft e stimates jndififtfH fr 
probable deficit of 80,000,000. take. Confronted by this 
situation, the assembly had two alternatives: the reduc- 
tion of expenses and the Jevying of new tax es. Had tHe 
assembly been ready at this time to elaborate and adopt 
a permanent fiscal policy, it would have been necessary 
to provide for largely increased revenue. But as the 
Government had not yet unequivocally pronounced it- 
self on the latitude of power it was willing to accord the 
national parliament, the assembly steered clear of all 
measures which would have made the Government more 
independent financially and which would also not have 
contributed to the popularity of the assembly among 



252 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

taxpayers. It, there fore, confined its wor k to ^"M-ipg 
budget estima+^ fl , fnp*/»ioiiy f fiwmiflii o f^^n^i^ \ n A q j 
cial salaries. Now, it is well known that the scale of sal- 
aries is not such that they can be further reduced with- 
out interfering with the efficiency of the service. When 
officials are absolutely underpaid, they will seek outside 
sources of income. 3*he only way jnjhirh thn fihinrnr 
< fl dminis tration . rfln b e fr ood fr o m coiiuutiuu and incom - 
petence fa to pln r r galari on o n t in n d rq naf r basis. The 
cuts in the estimates which were made led to a veritable 
reign of terror in official Peking. General Yin Chang 
the War Minister, reduced the number of employees 
in his office by several hundred, and in other min- 
istries, too, a great many unnecessary positions were 
discontinued. B ut with all t.hia T tha fundam ental que s- 
tion of giv ing the Chinese Gover"" "*"* mnr* n^ggi?*^ 
resources was not advanced . Tt will havn to hp fnnnd in 
ttxe im mediate future. Thejjoycrnment needs Pmlin- — 
ment because it needs money, and a parliament must be 
strong enough to take upon its shoulders, together with 
legislative power, .the burden and odium of increasing 
the customary taxes of the whole country. The chances 
are, however, that the Government will not be able to 
obtain a substantial increase in revenue before it has ac- 
corded to the national representation genuine powers 
of initiative and control. 

- On January 1 1 , *."p. fifftt afl gjg!igt jjigjffinj* 1 * A«aqru^ 
bly was p^j^^flhyoflH 01 '**"* Tf| ™d Nffl\* stormy 



A PARLIAMENT FOR CHINA 253 

period, and now opinion was divided as to the success o f 
the_£xpenment. The constructive programme which 
the assembly had at first proposed to itself, including ad- 
ministrative and educational reform, advance in rail- 
ways, communication, and other developmental matters, 
had not been elaborated. The assembly h ad spent its 
ti me in seeking to gain political authority and in criticis - 
i ng the Government. B ut while^^ r^ullaua^m dis- 
appointing, on the other h and, the assembly had oon- 

t\nnfjM\ jfa prrwAdingq with dignity/ *nH t.hftm \}^\ htxm 
developed * rartftin pnhlin IftA/forfthip. The most im- 

portant result of this first assembly was the unmistak- 
ablecleamess with which it was demonstrated that really 



tective parliamentary instit utions *1nnft wnnlH fl*tiflfy 
the Chin ese publi c. From a political point of view, there- 
fore, the assembly was most interesting. It could per- 
haps hardly be expected that it should immediately make 
itself very useful in the matter of administrative reform; 
though in its future work it will be judged by detailed 
results rather than by general claims and professions. 

1 The manner in which Prince Pulun, aa president, conducted 
the proceeding? of the assembly is one of the most notable features 
of this great experiment. That a Manchu prince, totally unaccus- 
tomed, of course, to the methods of parliamentary bodies, should 
be able to enforce parliamentary law in the clearest fashion, and 
that he should always act as a strictly impartial moderator, hold- 
ing the balance equally between contending factions, is indicative 
not only of quick intelligence but of high and unusual qualities of 
character. While this statesmanlike conduct may not have earned 
the Prince official favor, it certainly has gained for his judicial 
temperament wide admiration in China and elsewhere. 



251 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

It is characteristic for the situation in China that, 



immediately _*ft ftr *hq a^jn^rnnifi^t flf + hft assembly? 

intligUe8 >*>^n ftmnng hjgh nffir»i*1n with ft yfcw tn «*»iitu 

teg po sitions i n the cabin et to be created. T he discus- 
sion as to how soon it was to be organized and what its 
powers were to be was dominated by personal consider- 
ations. Thus, the opponents of Prince Ching, hoping he 
would not be appointed Prime Minister, favored the 
early establishment of the new organization which would 
displace the Great Council. An unfortunate tendency 

Was present in the effort to hrn^qpyRiYTfor this mnat 

important positi on superannuated princes who haj been 
holding vari ous sinecures, such as the headship of the 
Impe rial Clan Court or of thft flollftgn n f A«*.fnnnmy 

T TnlAfia ffoinfl ^n plflAQ h»r hiflp™* nnH mnn+ nirpnw mnnnrj 

men in the premier ship, her national woes will contin ue 
antLau^aent. -The creation of a cabinet ought to be a 
decided departure from the old system in which such a 
thing as united and centralized authority was unknown. 
Not only did each department constitute a college of 
officials in which there was no definite leadership nor 
responsibility, but the departments in their relations to 
one another were similarly disorganized. The creation of 
a cabinet under the responsible headship of a prime min- 
ister would therefore be a radical and beneficent change, 
especially if it were to be accompanied by placing each 
department under a minister with full authority. A be- 
ginning in this direction was made in 1911, when the 



A PARLIAMENT FOR CHINA 255 

Department of War was freed from the collegiate regime 
and placed under the control of one supreme official. 
The edict of May, 1911, by which a cabinet is created, 
was, however, in most respects disappointing. The 
organization which it provides for is altogether too cum- 
bersome and complicated, and not sufficiently removed 
from the old Chinese idea of government by equipoise 
through colleges of officials. Moreover, the question of 
the relation of the cabinet to the National Parliament is 
left unsolved by this edict. 

^LPL^J*? advance the cause of parliament ary insti^ 
tutions in China, there have been formed a number of 
jxditiriftl associations Such are the Association f nr Prfe 
paring Constitutional CitiKaaflhip+ ifafi Association for 

the Study Of the P^gftfaif. jqtj^f finratitaiiiniial Diamifl, 

sion Society, etc. The expression of 



CEnaJiaS . fc>eeil fm»iKtAt/yJ thmngh ihnan anarvnQt.innfl 

They started a movement as a result of which sixteen 
of the provinces sent representatives to Peking during 
the summer of 1908, for the purpose of presenting me- 
morials to the Throne favoring the establishment of a 
national parliament. These associations devote them- 
selves to the discussion of public policies, both foreign 
and domestic. Political problems are considered, and 
proposals are worked out for legislative action. This 
activity is merely one of the indications of the aptitude 
of the Chinese people for public discussion. They have, 



256 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

indeed, in the past not been without training for this 
purpose; and in creating a national assembly and pro- 
vincial councils, the Government is not building in 
the air. 

Though in theory the Chinese Government is absolute, 
haTrepresent aGves and agents have never been able to 
disngjard the public opinion of thn nommunity in whirh„ 
they were workin g. It is pra ctically impossible t/* impn^ 
any new tax without^ conrjli ating the op ini on of th e 
leading^ men of ^.neighborhood. Should any official 



neglect to put himself in touch with these forces, his 
decrees would be disregarded. The Chinese have always 
been accustomed to take communal action. Rather than 
pay a tax to which they had not consented, they would 
close their business houses and engage in a boycott or 
strike, until their grievances had been listened to, and 
the matter in controversy had been adjusted in accord- 
ance with their own sense of equity. Th e Chinese peopl e 
are grouped in various guild s and aaaoqifttiong . The 
aff aire o f these bpdi^aig_giaiTiagqd hy Hiapii«girw j^the 
meetings of the guild, officials and membsra The de- 
mand for a national assembly is therefore the natural 
outgrowth of a practice which is deeply ingrained in 
Chinese social life. The political associations which have 
been mentioned would readily grow into political groups 
and parties, were a parliament once established. It is of 
course a question how far party action could be made a 
valuable and potent political force in China. Bitter 



A PARLIAMENT FOR CHINA 257 

struggles may be expected before the true functions of 
political parties have been determined, and permanent 
groupings established. The experience of Japan teaches 
us how difficult it is to adapt party action to a system of 
highly centralized authority. 

When the people of a Chin^ftjnpighhorhood resist the 
imposition of a new ta x »ntii ^rtrain g"° VQn< ?^T biw> 
been adjusted , they are exerc is ing the essen tial fiynntfan 
of parM ftT^^TitAry . government? Th^ powers of the^ 
"jflother of Parliaments " grew up in t frfe Tfl f " 111l Ti * nf * 
the financial function s^ p^iaTP PTlfAr y ««*r"Mfa" «™ 
always the centre of their action., It is here that the 
whole question of Chinese parliamentarism hinges. In 
order to carry through the vast reforms planned in the 
administration, in the school system, in the construc- 
tion of railways and roads, in the maintenance of a mod- 
ern army and navy, the Chinese Government needs 
money in quantities that increase in a geometrical pro- 
gression. The burdens of a foreign debt imposed upon 
China in 1894 and 1900 must also be considered. Alto- 
gether it is plain that, even with effective fiscal reforms, 
the present sources of public income in China are inade- 
quate. Compared with the taxes in such countries as 
Japan, India, or the Philippines, those levied in China 

are very moderate indeed. Sir Robert Hart expressed his 
belief that it need not cause any particular difficulty to 
increase the income of the Chinese Government tenfold. 
But no matter how rapidly the Chinese people may be 



258 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

developing .ft. fltrnng a n d dovotcd p a triot i nm, they will 
continue to resistas "^^ «q fiYP r ih * ftrhi trary im posi- 
tion of new taxes. In order to provide itself with the 
"necessary funds, the Chinese Government must recon- 
cile the opinion of the nation to its policies. If this is to 
be done through the multitude of local officials distrib- 
uted over the Empire, the results will be inadequate, and 
official action will be constantly embarrassed by great 
friction and outbreaks of violence. Altogether th e sim- 
pleet and safest method of dfift1' n g with fofi nation irUhis 



matter would be through a body of representatives. As 



the kings of England commanded the knights of the 
shires to come together for the purpose of adjusting tax- 
ation, so the Chinese Government could well afford to 
command the provinces and prefectures to send their 
representatives, in order that mutual arrangements 
might be made for adequately supplying the ever-in- 
creasing financial needs of the Empire. 

But the causes whi ch make the creation of a pftrl jfr- 
ment necessary in China are m ore H^p-fifi? fori p™™ +kftfl^ 
financial needs. In order to understand the present po- 
litical problems of China, we ought always to remember 
that hitherto the functions of government have covered 
only a small part of social and economic life. If we 
should conceive of the governmental powers exercised 
in Western countries in their greatest completeness as 
covering the area of a large circle, we should find that 
only a minute part of these functions, covering a small 



A PARLIAMENT FOR CHINA 259 

segment of the circle, is exercised in China by govern- 
mental agencies. Another portion of what with us is 
public business has, in China, been in the hands of the 
people themselves and has been managed almost with- 
out governmental interference. But these two areas, 
taken together, would occupy only a small portion of the 
circle of the total functions exercised by Western public 
administrations. Thus in such circle we should have two 
small segments assigned respectively to the Chinese 
Government and to the people, besides a large area unal- 
lotted to either. The situation will appear clear if we 
look for a minute at the ordinary activities of the Chin- 
ese Government before the beginnings of reform. Its 
chief functions were taxation, the collecting and dis- 
bursement j)f revenu es, the making of official ap point- 
ments, and the selection of c andidat es for j)ffi££_thl0ugh 
pijTjifi pTftmjpftt.mn Beyond these, the Government 
w as supp osed to provide for the. defense o f th e oountry , 
which was done in a most haphazard way; it enforced 
the criminal law, and gave a great deal of attention to 
ceremonial rites. On the otherhan d, the people managed 
f or thems e lves, with wry khJa gnYfmme"* 01 ^^rfe 1 ^ 
e nce, all b usiness connected w ith their local affai rs; 

roads and Other me^ P nf AnTnmimin«t.inn Qg far Qfl main- 
tain ed at all we re kept u p in t his way f and education was 
provided en tirely by private ijmteq^iaft.- Controversies 
foat would in other countries fall under ^hepurvieTrof 
the civil law were settled mostly by private arbitration 



260 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

and through the guild courts. Tire fflir wm# T wnB iQfl,,AH 
largely by private bankers. 



iween these two areas of pi iH1ii» fnn^t.inn^ exer- 
cised either by the Government, on the one hand, and 
through joint effort of the people, on the othe r, there lies 
an extensive field not occupi ed by either. Within the 
latter there would be fo und such important functiopq *m 
preventative or protective policing, creation and mai n- 
tenance of many classes of pu hli* w^r^ anH j in gpnf ral, 
nearly all those developme ntal and inspectional func- 
tions, ot wfticft the business o f * "iftfom frtntr \n largely 
compound. When the Chinese began to see the need of 
greater public activity, there forthwith began a sharp 
competition between the Government and the people for 
control over these new fields. It was felt by all that the 
developmental functions which had hitherto been ne- 
glected or only partially exercised would have to be put 
into use in order to strengthen the nation. From our 
point of view it would, of course, be perfectly natural for 
the Government to expand its sphere of activity and di- 
rectly to undertake these new duties and powers. But 
the Chinese public has a deep-seated suapjjflio" ^f ^ff vial 
methods. While the sway of mandarins has been toler- 
ated as an unavoidable evil, every one has sought to 
keep his affairs as free as possible from official interfer- 
ence. Now, when the Government desires to build rail- 
ways and roads, to establish educational institutions, 
and in general to undertake that multitude of adminis- 



A PARLIAMENT FOR CHINA 261 

trative functions to which we are accustomed in our 
countries, the Chinese public struggles for its traditional 
independence; and in order to protect itself, it under- 
takes by private initiative the performance of such work 
as is plainly necessary. T hus, by th*» aiHg nf privom- 
ment sch ools, educational institution*? pf the gentry are 
still bein p; ^^itainftd f kr%i * A*«"Anp*A ™ mmfy p rnv j niM » 

and locality. W hen thy fiftyftrnmpnt. *+.t.gmp+.« fn Knil^ a 

railway, the merchants refuse to furnish it the necessary 

__^_^_________^^_^_^____ . _ . __ ^_ — — — »»— ^"^ 

fu nds; when it a ttempts to t ake up foreign loans, th ey 
resist such a policy, and offer to finance and manage the 
rai lway themselve s. So the circle of governmen tal funo- , 
tions and the circle of popular action are both expanding 
and taking up some of the hitherto unassigned work of 
admmj§tcatiQn. Many public associations have been 
formed for this purpose, societies for self-government 
and for the development of citizenship. While the 

Creation fl f municipal nflflAfwhlinn n» mh^JU Umm Wwin 

favored by imperial edict, thes ft ***!% *!«» rpprpaAnt $p 
almost spont aneous action of the pufrl™ in ad ifl frwipt 
to manage its affairs in its own w^y f wiflm nt f^y flpH^ 1 
reference to officials. These co ^nfiilfl, or fim™ 111 ^ nr* 
large. The number of sixty mg mfrprs i« not nnMim&l; 
they are, indeed, veritable parliaments on a small scale. 
The assemblies take up questions of public improve- 
ment, such as road-making, street-lighting, and water- 
supply, as well as more effective police service. They 
conduct independent investigations and formulate ^ians 



262 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

of action, which would be carried through without the 
assistance of officials, if necessary. However, very often 
this initiative gives a stimulus to the local officialdom; 
they extend their activity and try to improve their 
methods for fear of having the assembly encroach upon 

their powers. In the suppression of recent m utyiieftrieftr 
Cratoi^the self-government, ftusomfttion of the rep on^ 

was fa r more effici ent than the offi cii of t,fre Hovem - 
ment, a fact w hich was acknowledged by the vicero y. 
This particular society has also done most valuable 
work in organizing a relief service for the care of sufferers 
from floods and famines. As the public a ssumes the att i- 
tude that i t *n1\ jjflfilf flrawS thoflg piihlin fim^+JQnfl jf 

they are not properly fulfilled by the offi cials, it is pl ain 
that tEe assemblies, municipal and provincia l, whic h 
represent such constituencies^ will not be aatisfiedjsith a 
merely passive and advisory r61e . The same is true of the 
National Parliament, which is certain to be animated by 
exactly the same spirit. The public will not allow the 
official world to extend its field of activity in these many 
new directions without itself having a share therein, 
either through immediate participation or through par* 
liamentary representation. The_lattex.jnethod^ there- 
fore, is the only way in which the Chinese Empire, as a 
state or public organization, can get thorough control of 
those nelds 01 admi nistration which have hitherto b een 
neglected. 
But this extension of t^g, fnnntignp nf grvyftrmppnt 



A PARLIAMENT FOR CHINA 263 

brings with it another competit ion. As the people have 
hitherto been comparatively free from governmental 
interference, so have the provinces largely been left to 
manage their own affairs, though under the direction of 
a governor or viceroy and of other officials sent from 
Peking. The demand made by the metropolitan authori- 
ties upon the provincial officials was that they should 
somehow or other see to it that affairs ran along 
smoothly in their districts, that the taxes were paid 
and the revenues forwarded with reasonable promptness. 
The detail s of government were left to the local au thori- 
^tjftfl^Rn^ thftra w«* nn mioh thing pa a ce ntralized adm in- 
jfif.rRt.jyp finnt.ro). N ow when the National Govern ment, 
in or der to strengthen the Empire, is taking up th e new 
functions which we have spoken of, it at the same time 
b egins to ti ghten ita control o v e r th e provinces, whilp jET 
latter resist th is centralizing tendency. These Chinese 
provinces, vast nations in themselves, could never be 
reduced to the level of mere administrative circumscrip- 
tions like the Japanese fu or the French prtfecture. It is, 
therefore, one of the major pr oblems in Chinese legi sla- 
tion to-day how to a dji M fo p ^ |of ^^ a ** »^* p MW *" M ' 
to the strong central authority which is being create d. 
So far very little headway has been made in working 
out a definite and harmonious system of relations be- 
tween the provinces and the metropolitan Government. 
The authorities at Peking are attempting to get control 
of all branches of administrative activity and are issuing 



264 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

multitudinous edicts on these matters to provincial offi- 
cials. Now the legal power to do this indeed exists, but 
the enforcement of such decrees is another matter. It 
depends entirely upon the temper of the local society 
how far a governor maybe able to carry out the demands 
made upon him by Peking. 

A far more thorough analysis of federal organization 
than has hitherto been made will be necessary in China, 
because here the powers in question are just beginning 
to be exercised and it is more difficult to find a historical 
basis for their distribution than it was in the United 
States, Germany, Australia, or India. Yet, the experi- 
ence of these countries has much to teach the Chinese at 
this juncture. The assignment of attributions either to 
central or provincial authorities ought to be determined 
in relation to the vast size of China and the varied con- 
ditions in its several regions. The po wers should be 
placed where they could be most effectively exercised, and 
only tho se should be up j*Ari in fa? ( flfiptrnl finvuramrnt 
in whi ch a unified system for tfre whnla nation fa possible 
and desira ble. Precedents are indeed abundant in the 
systems already mentioned, but their application de- 
pends upon special conditions in China. The German 
Constitution has many admirers among Chinese officials. 
What makes it appropriate and renders it acceptable to 
the governmental party is the prominence it accords to 
the imperial office, as well as the fact that the federal 
relation is effectively elaborated, and that the popular 



A PARLIAMENT FOR CHINA 265 

element in the state is reconciled with the demands of 
a powerful central administration. Among the constitu- 
tions of modern civilized states, that of Japan has most 
of suggestiveness for the Chinese legislators. The dig- 
nity and importance of the imperial office is there main- 
tained. The Japanese Diet is given a great latitude of 
discussion and cooperation, but the real power of gov- 
ernment is in the hands of the Council of the Elder 
Statesmen. The Diet, indeed, has the sole right of au- 
thorizing new levies of taxation; but while at times the 
Government has been seriously embarrassed by the lack 
of funds, in the long run it has been able to obtain a vast 
increase of revenues. The Japanese Diet has on the 
whole assisted in binding the nation loyally to the Gov- 
ernment, and it has certainly brought about a stronger 
national feeling. But it is already clear that Chinese 
legislative assemblies will demand more extensive pow- 
ers than are exercised by the Diet of Japan. The inde- 
pendent action and self-help to which Chinese society 
has been for ages accustomed, stands in the way of the 
complete absorption of administrative authority by 
the Government itself. Moreover, the ruling family of 
China, being foreign in origin and having of late suffered 
many reverses, cannot count on that instinctive loyalty 
and ready submission which is the corner-stone of au- 
thority in Japan. 
There is one oth er reason operative in China whic h 

fa vors the growth of ntmng parliiMnftntitry ingtiffflflj/wia 



266 CURRENTS IN THE BAR EAST 

The tradit ion^ pf trh? ^"^"FFOTt Rrft n °t those of lead- 
ership, of a s trong, active policy, but they are expressed 
ratEerT n a seeking fo r an aquipniflft nf fr|f AAw. In his at- 
tempt to keep a province at peace, a go v ernor wou ld 
strive to ^^ ^qinflict i ng inflnenoco ogainnt , o ne an - 
othe r; and likewise, from the point of view of the metro* 
politan officials, success would consist in the ability to 
take advantage of rivalry and jealousies and to match 
against one another forces whose joint action might be- 
come dangerous. This principle has also been the chief 
guidance of the Chinese in foreign affairs, so that Chin- 
ese diplomacy has usually aimed at nothing higher than 
to play off one nation against another. Tfr i« tw^ pmK. 
able that one of the elements 



Government to establish deliberative assem] 



Vmpo fliaf now plomonfa yrpiilH ihna ho in*mHii/*>H xxrh\oh 
COUld be Utilised a gOOUntj fir? ™ +*" fl nIH gnmn nf Knlnnn, 

frees. But it is plain that what China n eeds most 
p articularly at the present time is lft ft/frrsfrip fit ron ff 
enough to batter down th€ ^anci ent^ontri VAnftflfl j ftn ^j 
arising supenor to them, to pursue 



policy of organisi ng Ch ineg^publir life on a highor pltino 
of e fficiency . The p ublic seems to tm^uik^ fa% jn*>A f 
and for t his reason, too, the parli aments ft™ «n inmatATif. 
in claiming for themse lves an authori ty which wiU trans- 
cend and outweigh the arti fices of offic ial intrigu e. It 
rtmiuiuB, Of cburse, to be seen whether they will be able to 
free themselves from these insidious habits and tenden- 



A PARLIAMENT FOR CHINA 267 

ties in Chinese public life. The Government itself has 
apparently also come to the conclusion that leadership 
and concentrated responsibility are necessary in public 
administration. They are now taking steps to abolish 
the old system of compensated balance in official organ- 
ization, and, as we have seen, a cabinet headed by a 
prime minister has been established. 

One of the special problems much discussed in China 
relates to the best basis upon which the representation 
in a national parliament may be founded. We have al- 
ready seen that the introduction of universal suffrage is 
not contemplated at present. The Government origin- 
ally favored councils appointed from among representa- 
tive men, somewhat after the manner in which the coun- 
cils of the Indian Government are made up. The idea of 
representation of interests has also been strongly put 
forward by Chinese publicists. The Government ordered 
a careful study to be made of the Austrian system, under 
which special representation in the Reichsrath is accorded 
to urban and rural communes, to industrial and commer- 
cial associations, and to universities. For a while it 
seemed that some such plan of interest representation 
would be adopted in working out the details of the 
Chinese Constitution. This would have taken account 
of communal feeling existing in such districts as the 
fu and the hsien, the professional cohesion among 
learned men, as well as the associative relations of the 
guilds and industrial companies. This method was 



268 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

ultimately not adopted in the electoral law for the 
provincial assemblies, which has, as already stated, an 
official, educational, and property qualification. In 
practice, however, this arrangement works out so as to 
produce a representation of interests, rather than of 
numbers; and as the members of the national assembly 
are elected largely from among members of the provin- 
cial bodies, the same principle obtains throughout. 
But as the intelligence of the great mass of the people 
increases, the movement for manhood suffrage will un- 
doubtedly gain in strength. At the present time schola- 
stic education does not reach the masses, nor do they 
as yet manifest a decided interest in public affairs. 
So far as the general policy of the Chinese Govern- 




ment at the present time may be determined, strip] 
of temporary vacillations and of the merely hortatory 
elements so common in Chinese documents it may be 
expressed in the following rough outline. P*}™™™*"^! _ 
authority must be maintained, but the officials must 
govern in accord w i th public opinion r "lTimigh nqjT in 
detail dependent upon it. The char^teran(LmQr&le_of 

nffiniftl methods mjaTfifi imprnvpA The tests for ap- 

pointment to office must be based upon modern science 
and practical etbcienc y. wtale th e charactp^ ^dperaonT 



ality of the candidate too m ust be taken intp mMouij tjn 
maki ng sel ections. Salaries will be inc r ease d in r>rder 
th at the officers of the Gover nment ™ny unt dnpnu/l 
upon illegal fees and fixaHfoag The general efficiency 



A PARLIAMENT FOR CHINA 269 

of the system is to be improved through the enfor ce* 
ment of stricter responsibility, and fthmngh «nfept.ifi6 
a ccountin g. In all this work the people should assist the 
Government and give it their confidence. Such r epre- 
sentation as w ill be accorded them ought to stren gthen 
tiiArfariy fry Ai^i^in g popular sympathy and coo nera- 
Jfcau But a constitution cannot be imported from with- 
out; it must build upon the living forces in the nation 
and utilize them for the general ends of the state. The 
Government, therefore, must be allowed to take time to 
feel its way, in order that the institutions, once intro- 
duced, may actually fit into the political and social life 
of China. 

The Chinese Government would, of course, be reluct- 
ant to give up the substance of power to a representative 
assembly. This fact is made the basis of the argument 
advanced by the ultra-revolutionary forces that China 
can be endowed with true national institutions only 
through a revolution in which the dynasty would be 
utterly overthrown and a purely elective government 
established. But it would seem that in the Chinese situ- 
ation at the present time, Burke is rather a safer guide 
than Rousseau. The Government would, indeed, defeat 
its own purposes, and might bring on even sadder catas- 
trophes than China has already suffered, if it should 
attempt to dam up the great forces of public opinion 
that are now seeking to express themselves. A national 
parliament must be created; and it must, moreover, be 



270 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

a body truly representative of the intelligence and en- 
ergy of the nation. We ought, of course, not to expect 
too much of such an institution, as parliaments are not 
ideal in any part of the world. But when public opinion 
has thus been enlisted, there will have been created an 
inquest of the nation, through which the Government 
may readily ascertain the feeling of its subjects through- 
out the Empire. New imposts of taxation will be given 
authority by acceptance through representatives, and 
the financial administration of the Empire will benefit 
through parliamentary control. 

But all this is only a beginning. An institution like a 
parliament brings with it new difficulties, party con- 
troversies, the introduction into political life of personal 
ambitions, although on a far higher plane than that of 
court intrigue. So the difficulties of China will not van- 
ish by the creation of this organ. China will, indeed, 
have endowed herself with an instrument that may be 
used toward bettering her general condition. But the 
real work of reform m ust be do ne in the administration . 
There the confidence of the people must be won . The 
corrupt methods which have nhtjunfiH in fhA pa^f. mnat. 
' give WAV t6 strict acc ountability, and to t % mainten- 
ance ot just and legal charges,. The great public works 



Which the Government is underta king call for unus ual 
capacity and devotion. in the pnhlir service. Should 
tEere be o ver-centralization, t hg developme nt of the 
provinces would suffer;^yid ypt t f hese grPAt jmits will 



A PARLIAMENT FOR CHINA 271 

hav e to submit to a more direct, centralised control than 
t hey havq fojt. ™ tii* p****, fa mvW flj ft f f the nation may 
nrJLQfl ftUfi hndy and fa*fag ^ **>»!■ if* co ncentrated en- 
ergies. Thus it is clear that , with the ach ievemen t of 
parliamentary institutions, the r eal wor k of China wi ll 
havejust-hfifflltt. But if these institutions c a n be s o 
adjust ed th a t they will constit ute the expression of a 
t rue union between the Gover pipppt ftp d the people, th e 
solution of the other difficulties and problems will ha ve 
been rendered far easier than it would have been in the 



handg^nf nn ftHminiflfrfttinn ynrkinjar at CTOSS-purpOSeS 
with an inde pendent public opinion. 




9 

r 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN l 





,--^ 4- ^g m y itellectual life of less self-conscious ages than 
^^b te has h ad nqjndepend ent existence. Men have sought 
•*f »*» «» j tnye p tl^ gr p rimary purpose, and given to philosophy, 
•*/f*#- ^ J " ftPjfxfeiSy, t6 ^ry^elling, "only that time and attention 

r h ic h t hgj r could spare from more strenuous, or at least 
itward ly mo r e epergetic, pursuits. The minnesinger or 
troubadour played, on his viol and poetized when he was 
not wielding the sword. When men first began to devote 
themselves entirely to the joys of the spirit, their fate is 
that of Rutebceuf, — grinding poverty, and the gray 
misery of an outcast's life; unless perchance they may 
come to enjoy the patronage of some Maecenas. From 
these humiliations, they cannot, with Doctor Johnson, 
proudly declare themselves independent, until another 
age has dawned, an age in which the things of the mind 
are valued in and for themselves. 

Japan is but now emerging from a state of culture 
which it shared with mediaeval Europe throughout 
a remarkable parallelism _pf_Matorifi_ development. In 

1 In connection with this chapter the author desires to call 
attention to the excellent literary summaries published in the 
Japan Mail, of which he has been a constant reader and which 
give an admirable current account of Japanese literary activities. 




/. 








|» f *«*w» ' S ^ 1 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 273 



Japan, as in Europe, it was the priest who philosop hi zed, 

jj^Vift hifl fi" 1 *- Hnf y ™* frk rw* it f 1 " 1 ftift flw niirft ii 

the wArrinr f Yrh<* developed poetry jn the moments of 

—  — . — — ■» 

l^liMrftfjn^ fi^m the flpyprit.jpa of .mil itary d is cipline and^ 
^warlika-xambaL. _Yet, though intellectual life under 
these conditions can develop only as it connects itself in 
an ancillary way with the two great interests of war and 
religion, nevertheless the clear purpose and well-defined 
ideals that are apt to animate an age of action are favor- 
able to the creation of literary masterpieces, so that 
there may be a literature though there are no literary 
men. But even in Dante, the temper of priest and war- 
rior is predominant. 

In old Jag> an x art a nd phi losophy were hieratic, or 
cour tly an d precious. Under the Tokugawa regime a 
new era dawned with the popularizing of literature 
through Bakin, and the picturing of the humbler phases 
of life in the Ukiyoye. Then with the Restoration a 
flood of new experiences and emotions burst upon the 
Japanese, carrying them along toward a more varied and 
specialized civilization. Yet the substructure of Japan- 
ese society is so firm that the earlier influences and ideas 
are still powerful, and we cannot understand the intel- 
lectual struggles and triumphs of modern Japan unless 
we often revert to the literary activities of the priests 
and the samurai, or rather of those among them who 
had a feeling for the things of the mind. 

With the neyr epj h aa come a T f ign nf general firing 




- ?*\ 



274 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

tion. Illite racy him ftlmnut diftftpppflrpd, and 

TgH^ng pnhlin h** ™™* ™+"> hmnp- We cannot, indeed, 
expect the same taste and discrimination that charac- 
terized the courtly circles of the earlier age, but there is 
a broader field in which intellectual life — of higher or 
lower aspirations — may flourish. Old class distinctions 
and trade-groupings have broken down, and the simple 
activities of the earlier societies have multiplied and 
have become specialized in the endless complexity of 
modern life. Thus there has come about an opportunity 
for men to devote themselves more exclusively to science, 
literature, or philosophy. In dignity and independence 
their position is not equal to that which savants have 
obtained in Western countries, but something has been 
achieved in that direction. The limitations inherited 
from the earlier society still condition these activities, 
but they are emerging constantly into greater promin- 
ence and repute. 

Whoever desires to grasp the essential currents of 
Japanese thought, and picture to himself the modern 
development of Japanese psychology, is beset with in- 
numerable difficulties, which all, however, contribute to 
the deep interest of the problem. T he adjustment of. 

*^\ Aiiifn^ fomif iffiiy rpfinrri and fflmrolf*, fA AT i- _ 

tire ly new conditio n^; trying fjp ^ anH g upon facultie s 
wh ich had not been culti vated before; tfra adoption of 

ne^y prnfiPflP*q and ninHflg nf fnnngh*, Qfifl thftlT j""*!^ 
ftamation iyit f fr thosft fr|ftippnte i?h\o\\ h*A frftffn rA+jnnorl 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 275 

f rom the past — these^ are the main requirements im- 
posed upon Japa n by her new situatio n. Of transcendent 
interest to the student of psychology is the rapid devel- 
opment of faculties such as the mathematical, which in 
the feudal society were considered unworthy of cultiva- 
tion, being looked down upon as mercenary and plebeian. 
Nor is the Japanese mind perplexed only by the diffi- 
culty of choosing between the old and the new. Added 
t o this great problem of policy and conduct, «,nnft 
c ommon to th<> entire fiiyiligfi^ world t o~day. fr ut which 
under Japanese conditions assumes a peculiarly trouble- 
some aspect. It conce rns the rela tion of the demands of 
material dev elopme nt and t echnical perfection to tho se 

deeper elements of culture — th e art of l itera ry and 

■« % . .  ~ *— — » 

pictorial expression, th e emotional life of poetry, and all 
hatma^kiaixearM after when its highways have been 
c onstructed and its har vesta flarnftrsd. The necessities 
of national self-defense and maintenance have in Japan 
emphasized everything that makes for material strength 
and have put on the defensive, even more than in West- 
ern countries, those pursuits and enthusiasms whose 
value transcends mathematical demonstration. 

The student of Japanese psychology will also note 
many other interesting likenesses to other civilizations. 
Th ough in charact er and tp m p»™™«mf ftio lapo^^ 

have miifth in co mmon with t h fi Firnrhj - yrt in thr ir 
i ntellectual and scientific culture, they have followed 
rather the English and th* n^rmana During the pre- 



276 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

sent era, the star of the French has not been in the 
ascendant; they are not preeminently a successful race. 
And disregarding to a certain extent intellectual sym- 
pathies, Japan has turned to those who, under pr esgnt 
flCTftit i ionflj rtimd for d e mnnntrahln mirrnng a nd pnn i ti vfr 
aciiifixement. 

Before entering upon a survey of the intellectual life 
of Japan, it is necessary that we should divest ourselves 
entirely of the superficial theory, so frequently put for- 
ward, that there is an impassable gulf between the 
psychology of the East and that of the West. If such a 
view is to be held at all, we ought to accept it only after 
it has been forced upon us unavoidably as the result of 
long observation and comparison in many fields of intel- 
lectual life. Nothing is easier than to enunciate a 
startling, absolute theory and then to give a few ex- 
amples, which to the superficial view bear out the 
aphorism. No matter how different from our own may 
be the Japanese mental attitude and manner of expres- 
sion, it is not necessary to accept such a transcendental 
explanation when we still have the effects of social 
structure and physical environment to take into account 
as determining factors. Were we to enter upon this 
matter at this place, it would be easy to make a prima 
facie case for the identity of psychological organization 
and intellectual activity among Japanese and Europeans; 
but this is not our purpose. We would rather look at life 
as it presents itself and, above all, endeavor to appreci- 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 277 

ate the multitude of shades that distinguish apparently 
similar relations and phenomena. Thus, shunning gen- 
eralization of a sweeping kind, we shall pass in review 
certain types of Japanese intellectual experience, and 
attempt to gather by accretion a composite view of the 
operation of intellectual forces in the Japan of to-day. 
The ty pe of priest who is also a philosopher and iqan 

and ada pted to new nnnHitjQna. Let us look for a mo- 
ment at the career of Count Kozui Otani, by inheritance 
Lord Abbot of the Nishi Hongwanji, the great western 
monastery of the Shin sect of Buddhism. This young 
man, destined for the most influential position in the 
Buddhist Church in Japan, prepared himself for his 
duties and responsibilities by a long period of study 
abroad. He spent four years in Euro pe fl7ramining thft 

rplftt.inng^flf religion t/\ pnlitipol lif^ Innlring i&te~ the 

detaUs_flL the g o v omm ont of th e Establish e d Church in 
England and Germany, as well as into the rgiij 



fictdtiesunBYiice* Nor was he without the companion- 
ship of numerous other Buddhist students, men of high 
rank who were following learning with a similar purpose 
and from a similar point of view in the great centres of 

European education. 1 

1 His brother, SompO Otani, was studying at Cambridge; 
Tesshin Watanabe and S. Fujii were observing ecclesiastical 
government in England; S. Sonada was at Berlin following the 
university courses on comparative religion ; while another member 
of the group, K. Honda, was far away in Sumatra, investigating 
the condition of his co-religionaries in that island. 



278 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

After completing his European studies, Count Otani 
went to India, where he carried on researches in the 
early history of Buddha and his religion. He gathered 
many inscriptions and other historical data, proceeding 
in the collection and criticism of historical material ac- 
cording to approved scientific methods. The death of 
t he reigning Lord Abbot calle d him hn/»lr fa Jap*" jn 
lfXKL H ere an abundan ce of work lay re ady to h is hand, 
Buddhist missionaries were sent to the United States 
and to China, and the Buddhist societies in California 
were given assistance and encouragement. When the 
great war came, a service of chaplains for the army had 
to be organized. The patriotic outburst of the war 
aroused in Buddhist endeavor new vigor and enthusi- 
asm. Especially in the field of China was missionary 
work taken up with redoubled energy. Fertile in 



so urces, anactive and efficient_Qrga&jger, fnft T ^H 

Ahjgg hgg hPgH tfr A ^"1 n * fJl * great HwHrili«fr. PTpftna^ptt 

ofjjiese rec ent yQ ftra. Meanwhile, h e lead s the_simplest 

Of J?Vffl, flf^t-™ in hin nnn/hiotj living wifhnnf. natamfrfi- 
tion Or a l ar ge hmifle hnlH, hut full nf *>iwgy ft r^ onffrnfl- 
iflffTTl fa fr fa APtirav 

The sermons of another Buddhist ecc l esiastic, Sfiyen 
Shaku, Lord Abb ot nf the great KftmRlnirn mnn< tf te r yi 

which were delivered to audiences in the United States, 
fd«njpwji«jiTi_ inwjght into jjhe intellectual awak enin g 
ynnnpr f, fr e highe r Bud dhist clergy. Not only are in- 
ternal questions of belief and ethical principle dealt witb 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 279 

in a broad and modern spirit, but these sermons also 
contain highly significant discussions of the relation of 
Buddhism to Oriental and Western culture. There is a 
great deal of preaching in Japan, and many books of 
sermons are published. These discourses are less formal 



thnn wjjJL nf f thfiy ""rtft'n Mttlg nf p\n 

m f i tiH hn* *k«"»"«t rt^^ n 1 teaching in *** TttltttiQp to 

lifp, ftnH *ra Pril^pe^ with man y anecdote ? ftpd quftjnt. 

ap plicatio ns of fol k-wisdom. 

In its fir st effects, the Restoration in Japan was not 
favors^leJ^LreligiQuaieEsor. The re vival of Shinto p ro- 
ceeded from purely poli tical motive s and did not imply 
a strengthening of religious sentiment except as it ex- 
pressed itself in loyalty to the throne and to national 

traditions. Whatever religious zeal was aroused by this 

— « — — — ' . — — — » 

feelin g was ft irned intn ^hftnnelfl ftf irtnto fifttimi The 
attitude of mind of the leaders in this great transforma- 
tion was purely secular. They judged of religions by 
their fruits, that is, by the ethical impulse they im- 
parted. Nor were they inclined to view with enthusiasm 
the achievements of the older forms of religion in the 
matter of ethical culture. 

Kunitake JTmTlfl t 1 ** dooArilwl far na, nnih n inn nh nf 



humor, the experience of a group of representative 
Japanese in 1872. I n that y e ar Prints Iwakuro wiHr to 



s uch prominent men ps KidOfQ fcnh^ *r\A Ua 

bers. Kume, who accompanied the mission in the capao- 



280 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

ity of an expert on Chinese and literary subjects, was 
detailed, with another member, to make an inves tiffa- 
tion nf thft atjifp. gf ffligi nTI i™ thfl ^VW. In their seal to 
begin work, they early on the voyage accosted a Roman 
Catholic priest, and questioned him about Western ro 
ligion. They got an account of the Ten Commandments 
and of the Trinity; but soon the tables were turned, 
and they were themselves questioned on the religion of 
Japan. The answers which they gave did not satisfy 
either themselves or their hearers. So a council of war 
was held in the smoking-room that night. What attitude 
should the mission take when questioned about Japan- 
ese religion? It was first suggested that they might 
claim Buddhism as the religion of Japan, but it had to 
be confessed that there was no one in the mission who 
knew enough of Buddhism to give a trustworthy account 
of it, especially on doctrinal matters. Confucianism 
might be professed, but this would not help matters, as 
Occidentals look upon the doctrines of the great sage as 
merely a politico-ethical system. Shinto was ruled out, 
as it was then too little known in the West, and also 
because a religion which lacks sacred books, and one 
whose observances are so archaic, might not particularly 
impress the Western mind. There remained no alter- 
native but to confess that Japan had no religion — an 
unfortunate situation, because heathen are considered 
but little better than wild beasts in the West. 
This dilemma did not, however, prove fatal to the 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 281 

mission, for they were not questioned as to their religion 
during all the remainder of their trip. On their part 
they had the amusement of wondering at the strange* 
ness of Western ceremonies and at the piety of their 
host, when Sir Harry Parkes took them to a service of 
the Established Church in England. In relating this 
experience, Kume dwells upon the change which has 
come over the educated Japanese in the matter of re- 
ligion. In the earlier part of the Meiji era most men of 
education shunned religion as unworthy of a rational 
mind and corrupting in its practices. M ow they nq 
lo nger denounce and repudiate religion, hut Emitting 
t he importance of religious sentiment, direct their sh afts 
nf Jfflti rA *g*i™+- h ftliefs and p rftfit^ font mm mipfT- 
jjtitioilSr 

On the other hand, it is apparent t hat the educat ed 
cl gmefl of Japan ara noTp^tlrpTv fira from wW. m*y Ha 

truly ftflllmi mipftrgtitifrn, — fr om the personal belie f that 
m an is surrounded by beneficent as well as by evil spi rits 
nr faqnflnflfl^ whir*h ms^y fr» p ropitiated by h^flttiPg 
observances. Fanciful suppositions of occult influences 
by which the course of human destiny is determined, are 
common in Japan. During the Russian War, carloads of 
ikons were shipped to the frontier by the Orthodox be- 
lievers; but the Japanese, also, did not disdain to court 
the favor of mystic powers by wearing amulets, and 
observing special rites. 
Tti in ftifrc*" 1 ! to rin^* tlw linp hpfnypen superstition and 



282 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 



higher f onus of religion, and the ceremonies observed by 
sue] 



great leaders as Togo and Eodama undoubtedly 
bear witness to the awakening of religious feeling under 
the spur of the tremendous struggle for national life. But 
other practices common among the people are plainly 
superstitious — certain sounds are believed to f orbode 
ill, there are lucky and unlucky ways of beginning an un- 
dertaking. Wonder-w ftri^g p" nn + n ** n ™ » g— « * «* ^ y 
adherents, even among the ed n^at*** * nr * fllA ™*l+hy; 
nor have the superstitious practices of such sects as the 
JisshOkyO, whose activities are devoted mainly to ex- 
orcism and divination, abated with the progress of en- 
lightenment. 

The fading of the first flush of rationalism which 
dominated the beginning of the Meiji era, has thus re- 
sulted not only in a revival of religious sentiment, but 
also in a recrudescence of superstitious feelings and 
observances. In the masses of the 
had made little headway, and 



current ^^p; i-nam faayp nwAr 




bated by t he priests, w hgjjmfit. by ptrp^fir ^Am* 1 "? in 
these matte rs. The rejs T however T in Japanese supere ti- 
tion muc h that is poetical, much that has a (j fifip mnoa- 

ing, appro aching fo * prnfftHpH wiqHnm in mnttniM of 

huffian^Stiny, asfa^ll known to those who have read 
Heara's marvelous studies in the borderland of psychic 
mystery. 
The evolution of religious flffitiimmt fa Japyi is 




INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 283 

c\c*p\y rri^fftH unth t.nA nWplnpmpnf, nf IM?1Jtfi^rlll g nH 

sociaUife. During the earlier period of Meiji, positivist 
tendencies based upon European thought as represented 
by Spencer and Haeckel were most prominent. For a 
while it seemed as if religious feeling was largely dis- 
appearing from among the educated people of Japan. 
Then came a revival of nationalism, inspired on the one 
hand by romanticist views of Japanese history and 
traditions, on the other, by the growing ambition of 
political power. In the Nippon Shugi movement, ro- 
manticists like Takayama played a prominent part. 
This writer was strongly influenced by the thought of 
Nietzsche, whom he introduced to Japanese readers. He 
sought in the traditions of his country for the materials 
toward building up a strong national feeling. Nichiren, 
the patriotic monk, was his chief admiration. Thus the 
nationalistic renaissance led to a revival of reliagp ua 
feelin g among classes that ha d formerly tram*^ vftry 
cool toward religion, and pffort fl were made to in fuse 
new life a n,fl fnthnajaffln i^fa tfra nation al forms of wo r- 
ship. Mystic t endencies were also strengthened at th is 
time; many prophets arose, and spirit-seeing became a 
common experience. I ncidentally Christianity in Ja pan 

Was al so faVOred Jlbi'Ongh *-n« Amynt.nat.inn of rpligjniM 

sen timent f although ** *% * *me time the demand grew 
t hat the ffiTifltii an ^iginn i n Japan must assu me a 
nationaljghftractfir. As already pointed out, the Russian 
War gave further impetus to these tendencies and the 



284 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 



pendulum swung very far in the direction of religiosity, 
te jno vement had now, however, reached a clima x; 
the intellectual temper reasserted itself, and Japan be- 
came less inclined to religious fervor. The rationalist 
materialism of the earlier era was not, indeed, rehabil- 
itated, but a similar tendency gained control in the 
movement called naturalism, which, on the basis of 
French and Russian realism, favors a high degree of 
i ntellect" *! pmimftipntMfl 1 

| |11 ifa p hfltflfl. 




uman life m 



Reli gious life is not stationary i n Jnpan, or in nthrr 
Oriental countries. Sects are .s till being thrown o ff by 
the main stocksjrf religion; new tendencies are h&ng 
developed in individu al gro ups. Such a new creed is 
Shingaku, which attempts to represent in itself the best 
elements of Shinto, Confucianism, and the Buddhist 
faith. There are two recent Shinto sects, the Remmon 
Kyokai and the Tenri Kyokai, which seem to many to 
be but baneful and superstitious corruptions of Shinto. 
TVnri KyQka^ (the teaching of heavenly bliss) has a 
strange si milarity to the Ch ristia n Science move mtmt m 
America, especially in the matter of healing disease 
through prayer. The sect was founded by a woman, 
Qmilri. who exercised a great personal ascendency over 
her followers. I ts doctrines a rejjhnple andlftgV "^fltifi* 
logic, whifih doftfl nof f intftrfare with thrir cffrrtivcnrm 
among ihe people. The ethical beliefs of the sect have a 
tinge of individualism as well as of communism, incul- 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 285 

eating the sacredness of labor, cooperation in the activ- 
ities of life, and mutual assistance in misfortune. It 
calls for fellowship between husbands and wives, and 
would give Japanese women a more independent posi- 
tion. But the sect appeals most to the Japanese masses 
by associating religion with health and material welfare. 
It preaches cheerfulness, and aims to uplift the masses to 
a more joyous condition of life. Its faith-healing prac- 
tice, resting on optimistic views of psychic power, at- 
tracts many votaries. Though it teaches kindly morals, 
its ethical standards are not exacting, and it calls for no 
self-sacrifice other than that which is involved in fellow- 
ship and cooperation. The sect believes in one chief god 
or supreme ruler, and is true to its Shinto derivation in 
being extremely nationalistic in its enthusiasm. Its joy- 
ousness often takes a luxuriant form, such as hilarious 
dancing and wild orgies, — frowned upon by the police 
authorities. For this reason, the Government at first 
refused to recognize the sect as an authorized religious 
body. But the growth of the TenrikyO in numbers and 
influence was such that the State was forced to take 
official cognizance of it. {gjhefew decades of its exist- 
ence, this sect h as grown so as to com prise aT tEe "present 

tHTJg mrefjnnr million AHhft^p^Ag j_mAnjr_ fhniiflftnH 

Bleachers. 

Jap anese Bu ddhism is remarkable for the great num- 
ber of sects into which the believers are divi ded. E very 
conceivabfiTtendency of thought is represented by a 



286 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

different grouping. Of late there has, moreover, been 
great activity in the formation of Buddhist societies 
among the educated people. Among organisations re- 
cently formed, the Great Japan Young Men's Buddhis t 
A ssociation. w hidTworks among the students of the dif- 
f erent Tokio universities, is perhaps the most important. 
Many of its older members have attained high position 
in the social and political world, and the society there- 
fore enjoys a considerable influence among the intellect- 
ual classes. It includes among its members adherents 
of all the different sects of Buddhism. 

mw^gyofiiationft an? forroM for special p'jtp"**, 

s uch as th e flf ipntifw ntudy frf Buddhipmj the commemo- 
r ation of important pf iw^mf*! nr thft H«vdg|im«nt nf 
the tenets ofjrartifiiilar flftfits. The great commercial 
house of Mitsui and Company has been instrumental in 
organizing a Buddhist society of nearly one thousand 
members — officials, statesmen, newspaper editors, and 
well-known business men. This society devotes itself 
especially to meditation and to the study of Hekigan- 
rohiy one of the most popular books of the Zen sect. 
Recently a young Buddhist priest has established a dor- 
mitory where he brings under his educational and relig- 
ious influence a great number of young men. These are 
some of the centres of activity through which Buddhism 
is regaining in part the influence which it formerly exer- 
cised among the intellectual classes of Japan. 
W e may n ote in passing that the situation is n ot en- 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 287 

tirely unfavorable to the further develop ment nf flhrifl- 
tianity in Japan. The ra tionalistic apath^ jifJtfaeJjrBt 
part of the Meiji era was the mftflt nnpmpitirn^ pn\\ for 
religions growth ^tio T1Al ' gm iflln ^H itffl frtmnfr and 

therpfnrp ^ftfmnftligfi^ fnrmg nf Prnf.fflt.ft ft tlflTn, fflipfHlllly 

Unitarianism, have exercised a definite i nfluenc e amo ng 
thinking mfin of Ja pan* Some scholars even believe in 
TEepossibility of a Japanese religion constructed upon a 
rational basis, with an eclectic use of the best elements 
in other religions. Of this opinion is Doctor TetsujirO 
Inouye, whose writings are quite representative of the 
thought of educated Japanese. Doctor Inouye's point 
of view is, however, essentially secular. He values re- 
ligions according to their ethical contents and the moral 
influence which they exert. Neither Buddhism nor 
Christianity, considered as forms of supernatural belief, 
inspires him with enthusiasm. The mixture of doctrines 
in Buddhism brings about a distracting confusion, and 
as for moral influence, "the majority of Buddhist priests 
are so bad that if there was such a place as hell they 
ought to be the first to go there." Christian teaching, on 
the other hand, to his mind, lacks many of the character- 
forming elements in which Confucianism is rich. In 
common with many Japanese Christians, he believes 
tw tiio M.nrfi j^^^/jMJiLffjigiCT oOSrifitianityjn 
J apan depends upon the manner in whi ch i t shall b ej&le 
t o solve the et hical questions that perplex Jap an, andj to 
adapt itself to Japanese character and socia l condition^ 



288 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

The search for ethical standards to be applied in 
national lifejias s trengthened the hold ^yhiph f>ipf"- 
cianism has upon the_Japanese. The ethical elements 
contained in BushidO, the warrior's code which has of 
late received so much applause in Europe and America, 
are drawn mainly from Confucian thought; therefore 
the success of Japan in the recent war again redounds to 
the prestige of the Chinese sage, as it encourages in 
general a return to Oriental origins. Thus it happen s 
that we witnessed, a year or two ago^ the_ revival i n 

Jafran of the Custom rv^piihliftly PftVfrff h™inr ii\ IHa 

memory of Con fucius. T his ceremony in honor of Con- 
fucius had been allowed to lapse at the time of the Re- 
storation, when Japan was bent upon the revival of 
Shint5 and was in other respects looking to Europe for 
light and guidance. But now the commemorative fest- 
ival is again observed — a spontaneous homage to a 
great Oriental sage and hero. Moreover, Confucian 
thought has been made the basis of the practical work 
of several ethical societies, as notably of the association 
which, under the guidance of such men as Baron Shi- 
busawa and Mr. Yano Tsuneta, is attempting to develop 
higher standards of morality in the Japanese business 
world. 

Injthe matter of et hical ideals «iri ^™m™» morality 
Japan l fl _p^™fc ^"^gh ft fti*i+wi»r«.. The code of 
Bushida. w hic h produce d the m™? 1 gwiigmw nf the 
feudal age, deals in the main only. with the reciprocal 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 289 

duties of feud al vassal and superior. It h** "ft tfifl^^gft 
~t5r tne relations of man to man in a more democratic 
state-oLsociety, especially in a society of competition 
where men meet face to face in the strenuous and grim 
struggle for a livelihood. Des pite itralf r Japan pgp anfiiftty^ 
i&Jjficoinin^ individualistic. The harsh compulsion of 
the competitive system, ambitious striving after success, 
or mere grasping for the necessaries of life, has brought 
into play motives which were dormant in the older era 
of group association. The word "success" is used as 
frequently in Japan as in the rest of the world, and seems 
to exercise the same kind of charm. 

With the o lder rffltraintg nunftvHj nnil wiili lynniypr- 
sal worship oLgp tting fthoarii4here^gtmainR no. eihicaL 
c heck upo n selfish and ruthless action in the scramb le 
fnrjjvftlihfMvl, wftftHh, find power. The virtues of liber- 
ality, generosity, and self-control, inculcated by the code 
of Bushidd, have not as yet been transferred to the 
ordinary relations between men. Even the greatest a d- 
mirgrjr>f.Bnffhidft would v*t nia™ fhof, th\a <x*\* ftpgwnwt 
t he moral needs of Japan to-day. The inspiring devo- 
tion and self-sacrifice of the Japanese soldier have not 
been given their counterpart in the virtues of everyday 
life. The principle of the limitation of moral force seem* 
to be borne out by Japanese experience. The poten- 
tialities of Japan are exhausted in the heroic virtues of 
war and the traditional loyalty and piety toward super- 
iors and parents. A new distribution of moral energies, 



mrl . ,, . ™ """'IKS, condu 

^\'' ta «= aspiration which p „ 

"tfwnc. cannot, t„ eref ^ 

W^olosy and tatte refine^ 
^M'™»^ freeing, mim ,- 

St 4 """- I *»^ a u*£^ 

*-fe-*"* of Kamn ~ ™ 

<*taal guidance. ^™ 

£"? *">'>890 on education, £ 
^ Jap^Gov^ent^ed,: 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 291 

ethical guidance should be afforded the young. The 
highest authority in the realm! therefore, addressed the 
nation on this matter in the edict which has become 
the Magna Charta of Japanese education. 

The principles which this edict lays down as funda- 
ment^ Jn et hical cultu r e are grouped abo ut the d uties 
of loyal ty to the anvft^gi, a nd piety toward parents 
ahH otfwr super iors. A , second edict was issued lnT3D8, 

the virtues of frugality, frankness, ^and 
flijpplifti ty of life. The moral problems resulting from 
the victories over Russia offered the occasion for issuing 
this edict; but its purpose may also have been to supply 
guidance in the more ordinary and less heroic virtues, of 
which Japan has been in special need in times that 
require patient dutifulness in everyday relations. The 
reception accorded this ethical exhortation was rather 
cool, and some critical minds ventured to suggest that 
such preaching on the part of the Government was not 
complimentary to the intelligence and self-reliance of 
the nation. 

The complaint is often heard that while the edict 
might be made the basis of broad instruction, the official 
interpretation has been such as to confine emphasis 
entirely to the ideas of loyalty and filial piety (chu ko). 
Should any teacher attempt a broader treatment, or 
should he even suggest that the imperial edict ought to 
be supplemented by further instruction in order to fulfill 
its purpose, he might be accused of want of respect to 



iuw Been destroyed or rea 
con™.-. " .. "*• " """» '<*»oi> 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 293 

over morals is also illustrated by an order issued by the 
Tokio police to troops of itinerant story-tellers, to the 
effect that only such stories are to be related as teach 
loyalty to superiors and filial piety. It is not difficult to 
imagine how readily these disreputable vagabonds will 
satisfy ethical requirements by allowing their hero- 
villains to utter a few pious sentiments — an ethical 
legerdemain which is, as we know, also practiced with 
us in higher circles of dramatic "art." 

While speaking of ethical motives in Japanese life, we 
ought not to overlook the fact that ethical conflicts form 
the deepest interest in Japanese drama and literature. 
Thft JapftTiPflP Hifltjngniflh Hpt ween giri, which is reas on, 
principle^ duty^ a nd ninio. fr im*Ti frffAfttinna When 
t hese two are in conflict, the knightly code of Japan de - 
ma nds an absolute sacrifice of fill human filing The 
moral grandeur of suppre ssing the strongest passi ons 
and affections of the heart and obeying without a m ur- 
mur the dictates of duty, will always move the Japan- 
eSeTTxTtfre point of causing them to shed tears, even 
when the conflict is presented only in poetry or on the 
stage. This great ethical force, though focused upon 
loyalty to a superior, might in time come to form a 
strong substructure for broader moral sentiments and 
enthusiasms. The problem of developing it in such a 
manner as to comprise the social relations between man 
and man, and to bring these powerful ideas of duty and 
justice to bear upon the ordinary affairs of life, is what 



291 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

Japan has set herself to solve, as a result of the social 
transformations during the Meiji era. 

The official interpretation, together with the notion 
of thejacrgd ness of th e imperial reprint, has led to im- 
parting a to ne of arti fi ciality to ethical teaching, whfah 

has weakened the spontaneous growth o f *th\o*\ thnnghf, 

and impulse among thfi Japnnrar peoplr The Depart- 
ment of Education has at times used its power of super- 
vision over higher instruction in a surprising manner. 
A few years ago it withdrew the license under which 
graduates of the Tetsu-Gakkan College were allowed to 
teach in secondary schools. This action was taken be- 
cause the college used Muirhead's Ethics, which sets 
forth the theory that man's actions are either good or 
evil according to the motives of the person acting; and 
because the teacher in charge of the course had expressed 
his view that it was not necessary to guard the passage 
in the text-book from misinterpretation. The action of 
the Department called forth a resolution of the Ethical 
Society (Teiyu Rinrihri) to the effect that Muirhead's 
teaching on motives is not in any way dangerous from 
an ethical point of view. 

A great variety of opinions has been expressed con- 
cerning the philosophic^en^owmftnt of the Japangge. 

ZAccorilln^ to Aston, the Japanese" m u sca r c e ly - capable 
of high intellectual achievement! y et oth ers have cred- 
ited them with special capacity for metaphysics. Baron 

,Suyematsu, in a recent lecture on Japanese character, 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 285 

admits that the Japanese are not gifted with high imag- 
ination. He contrasts them with the Hindus, who are 
easily carried into superexalted fantasies; the Japanese 
have no coeniologies, no jthilosQphical rhapsodies, such 
asjSeHindus have developed. They are moral poei- 
tivists. Hearn, too, speaks of the Japanese as Bkelyto 
"produce great haters of ideologies, and it is patent that 
they have not produced a distinctive system of philo- 
sophy. Nevertheless they have always shown much 
interest in philosophical discussion. During the Toku- 
gawa regime, when Neo-Confucian philosophers like 
Shushi and Oyomei were introduced into Japan, they 
indeed dominated Japanese thought for a while, but 
their conceptions were also further developed and were 
given a new interpretation by Japanese thinkers. The 
Kogakurha (back to antiquity) school purified Confu- 
cian doctrine by rejecting Buddhist and Taoist admix- 
tures which had come in during the Sung Dynasty. The 
members of this school have also pointed out the essen- 
tial positivism of Confucian doctrine, which brings it 
into accord with the development of Western philosophy 
during the latter part of the nineteenth century. Mod- 
ern Japanese students generally show great ease in 
acquiring the abstractions of Western philosophy, nor 
is the Japanese language, with its Chinese elements, 
devoid of philosophical expressions or unadapted to the 
development of abstract thought. 
In matters of philosophy, Japanese scholars have of 



296 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

late ht*m^<mft*fpA in afrydymg forei gn systems and 
making selections t herefrom, r ather than in building u p 
an indigenous philosophy based entirely upon Japanese 
thought. 1 As a result of these eclectic methods every 
tendency of European philosophical thought, from the 
transcendentalism of Kant and Hegel to the positivism 
of Comte, is at present represented among Japanese 
scholars. The evolutionary philosophy of Huxley and 
Spencer still counts many adherents in Japan, the most 
noted among whom is Baron Hiroyuki Kato. He had 
originally written a book on man's rights and his place 
in creation, which was somewhat Rousseauic in tend- 
ency. But when the modern views of evolution became 
known to him, he himself pronounced judgment upon 
his first book and burned it at the stake. He now applies 
the doctrine of the survival of the fittest in a most 
radical manner to all departments of life and thought. 
Doctor Tetsujiro Inouye is more of an idealist. Accord- 
ing to his view, evolution, having to do with mere phe- 
nomena, cannot supply us with an ethical standard. For 
this we must investigate the real being that lies beyond 
phenomena. Other idealists get their inspiration from 

1 The University of Tokyo has been much attacked because of 
its failure to take the lead in philosophical construction and in 
providing the Japanese nation with an original system of philo- 
sophy. A facetious critic describes the philosophical faculty as 
a telephone exchange which transmits messages from Western 
scholars to Japanese students. Yet this is nothing but the charge 
of unoriginality that has so often been made against Philotophie- 
professoren in Germany as elsewhere. 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 297 

Spinoza, Hegel and Greene. Berkeley, Locke, Lotze, 
Schopenhauer, and Hartmann all have received a hearing 
and have influenced the ideas of Japanese thinkers. 

Such p hilosophic*! JTidJviHimligm, whifth iflftfcffl thft 

mind oLman the centre of the universe and rives it a 
selective and creative autonomy, is hardly in a ccord 
with the traditio ns of Oriental thought . Still less so 
would seem to be the aristocratic individualism of Ibsen 
and of Nietzsche. Yet this unique German thinker and 
literary artist has extended his sway even to the distant 
realms of Asia. This is indeed not to be wondered at. 
Nietzsche's aphoristic style, his assurance, his proneness 
to the enunciation of startling ideas, gives him a special 
hold upon young minds impatient to get at results. He 
seems to proffer in a sentence the knowledge which it 
would otherwise take months to acquire. His complete 
detachment, the manner in which he leads men upon 
mountain tops and shows them views never seen before, 
gives to his readers a sense of superiority which is 
especially fascinating to the young the world over. 
Moreover, there are a great many assonances between 
Nietzsche and the code of Bushidft, although he sees 
ethical relations from an entirely different angle. As a 
result, the German Zarathustra has become one of the 
most potent intellectual influences in contemporary 
Japan. Even more modern than Nietzsche, pragmatism 
is gaining Y nfAriAfl nrro^g T«p«"*y» pt.nH«ni.g *r\fl w\l$- 
a ra. There is. inde ed, a good deal of pragmatism in the 



206 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 
teach ings of Oyomei r whram jfjpftn fonatd thg chirf 

int/>llft^iiAMnfliiftnr>ft ip pr*>p^jpg thft pound for the 

Restoration . The subjective nature of truth also is not 
an entirely new idea to the Orientals. It is the name and 
the grouping of concepts in pragmatism which attracts 
rather than any originality in philosophical contents. 

It would be interesting to inquire into the relation of 
social experience to philosophical reasoning. Abstract 
thought presupposes opportunities for social general- 
isation and for taking a detached view of life. A feudal 
society, free from self-consciousness, exuberant with the 
joy of living and the prowess of deeds, could not be 
expected to evolve philosophic theory, however artistic 
and refined it might be. But when a society begins con- 
sciously to compare itself with others and to see within 
itself contrasts and competition between groups, it may 
develop a philosophy if it has cultivated intellectual in- 
dependence. Thus the present philosophical uncertainty 
and confusion in Japan may be the first stage of original 
creation. Indeed, some scholars like Doctor Ryukichi 
Endo are already consciously endeavoring to elaborate 
a new system of ethics based upon Japanese foundations. 

We have already noted the influence of the imperial 
rescript of 1890 upon ethical education. The rescript, 
among other things, emphasizes the everlasting char- 
acter of the Empire and describes the imperial throne as 
coeval with heaven and earth. In Japanese leg endary 
l ore the creation of the world and the foundation of the 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 299 
Empire are closely co nnegted. The almost religious 

Sentiment Of lny^ty fo fh * Tmpwfal TTrJn«A J wV]jrjh ia t.liA 

corner-stone of the Japanese politic al edifice, draw s its 
inspiration from th e , belief in the divine d e ocoat and 
heaven-ordained reign of the Emperor. Thus the myth- 

J Calpa st h*tff ***»" wih/Ia, ftfl it. wftro f a part, nf t.ViA .Taj an. 

^Constitution and political system. To subject any 
of these traditions to scrutiny by the methods of his- 
torical science would be looked upon as unorthodox and 
dangerous to the stability of the Japanese Government. 
Accordingly Japanese historians generally have been 
cautious and careful to steer clear of such discussions, 
or have accepted the legends without comment; and 
historical scholarship in Japan has been obliged to im- 
pose upon itself certain limitations. Now, it is perhaps 
true that popular beliefs entertained about so remote a 
period, on which accurate historical knowledge after all 
is unattainable, may be left to flourish without entirely 
depriving scientific history of its proper field of opera- 
tion. Nietzsche, in his brilliant early essay upon the 
uses of history, tries to protect the legendary beliefs of 
society against destruction by historical criticism; in his 
opinion critical research implies an analysis and dissec- 
tion which destroy vitality and which should, therefore, 
not be applied to ideas that are essential to life. Japan- 
ese historical scholars may find some consolation in this 
point of view, when they are called upon to exercise self- 
denial. If the limitations referred only to the period of 



300 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

earliest origins, they might not be so irksome and dan- 
gerous; but there is a strong i mpulse in Japan to read all 
history from the yifflgpnint nf politiififtl filigft n T So the 

dis mi ssal ft™*) tftft {JpiTOmi+y nf Tnlryn nf TVinf n> TT iitnA 

Kunitak e far JHM^ g unorthod ox yiews of pArly hist/My, 
and a ttempting to exercis e ft higher mtimgrn in rap^t. 
of the ancien t myths, *""» * Hinting d)flfflKlTflge mfln *' to 
historical fifthnlftrahj p in J>ymn The manner in which 
historical questions are apt to cause political excitement 
in Japan is illustrated by the acrid controversy concern- 
ing the legitimacy of the northern and southern courts in 
mediaeval Japan, which divided public men in 1910 and 
came near to causing cabinet resignations. Not long ago 
a prominent scholar, Doctor N. Ariga, made a plea be- 
fore the Asiatic Association (Toa Kyokai) in behalf of 
the cultivation of Japanese archaeology. He believes 
that the field of historical study has been limited too 
narrowly and that the early history of Japan should be 
studied according to scientific standards. It is his opin- 
ion that questions of ethnology and origins should be 
investigated, such as the problem as to where the plain 
o f Takama - ga-hara, wh ence the founders of Japan are 
said to have come, was located. Bu t though he advisee 
the scientific study of imperial archives^ of traditions 
anfrrn"fftiomfl J "'ypt TFortflr Ariga in rarefal to ftxprpfifl no 
dissent from such cur rent traditi op fl afl t.hfi v^ pw fo* f . t n ft 
world was created j)^Izaiiagta ad Laaiiaim rThe Imper- 
ial University has, indeed, fostered historical studies, 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 301 

with the result that there has been created a committee 
for the compilation of materials for the history of Japan, 
which has already published a number of historical doc- 
uments, diaries, and other materials relating to the 
mediaeval and modern era. But there does not exist as 
yet a complete scientific history of Japan, nor has there" 
beenrmade any^Emg_but al^egumin g in the study of 
TJ^ciaT periods. 1 

The te mper of modern Japan may not be entire ly 
favorable to intensive historical stud ies. There is so 
m uch to achieve in the pre s ent, ther e are so many pfoB- 
lem s looming in th e fu ture, that no time or energy isleft 
(orjifilying-into the past. The highest appreciation of 
the value of historic consciousness to national life is not 
found in Japan, and national history seems so self- 
evident and natural as to excite no more interest and 
require no more thought than is bestowed by an active 
man on pondering the course of his own personal de- 
velopment. The Japanese are prone to confound history 
with reminiscence and autobiography, which engage 
men only after the more active life is past. 1 The histor- 

1 Thus Mr. Natsume Soeeki says, " To us the past is as if it had 
never existed, so intent are we on the future." This noted writer, 
though speaking with admiration of his teacher, Mr. Murdoch, 
confesses that he has never read the tatter's work on Japanese 
history. 

* Full credit must, however, be given for what has been 
achieved by such scholars as Tsuboi, Shiratori, Hoshino, Mikami, 
Ukita, Hagino, and by Asakawa and Yamagata (collaborator of 
Mr. Murdoch), writing in English. 



1 



302 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

i cal sense, indeed, i« mrf, «ntimly w^tfag in th* Japan- 
eee people; however, it has so far been developed, n ot 
on its scientific or critical mHa | hut in, gom rction wit h 
r oman tic traditions in plays JLDiLstories. T his romanti c 

historicd^ Sentiment i« * Rt.rnng ffj[y ftf^hft natinnul 

spirit. It gives the people that consciousness of past life 
and achievement, of historic purpose, which constitutes 
national personality and character. The experience of 
modern Germany has been repeated in Japan, and the 
glories of a mediaeval state, living again in romantic 
imagination, have become a strong factor in national- 
ism. But modern civilization demands a deepening of 
the historical sense on the critical side. 

In dealing with intellectual and particularly with lit- 
erary life, it is important to give some attention to the 
mode of expression, which, in the case of the Japanese 
language, is peculiarly complex and variegated. 1 In the 
literary medium of Japan there is a great distinction 
petween classical Japa nese and the colfr fflu** 1 «fyift"~T , K*> 
classical Japanese is further diffe rentiated according to 
the extent to which it e mploys Chinese terms or follow s 
Chinese precedent in di ction and c onstruction. The 

1 A report of a recent law examination for judgeships gives some 
idea of the great variety of styles in popular use. Some of the men 
adopted a rather cursory lecture note phrasing, others followed 
the ancient classical Japanese, and still others imitated the pure 
Chinese style. Many used a mixture of formal writing and col- 
loquial expression. In Chinese there are also a number of distinct 
styles adaptable to legal use and inherited from various periods 
of the past. 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 303 

Chi nese style is us ed wherever d ignity and p recision are 
required^ as, for instance, in imperial rescripts, official 
ordinances, formal addresses, and weighty treatises. 
Formerly Chinese was looked upon, much as was Latin 
in Europe, as a social shibboleth and as the distinguish- 
ing mark of an educated man. Chinese learning in the 
past, in Japan as in China itself, over-emphasized the 
importance of words. Words became of greater conse- 
quence than the things and idea s they stood fo r; and a 
discussion in which the origin of word-signs was ex- 
plained was held to be satisfactory from a philosophical 
point of view, even though no contribution whatever 
had been made to a clearer understanding of the ideas 
involved. Colloqui al Japanese is diffuse and full of c ir- 
cumlocutions^^Tie absenc e of tenses and personal pr o- 
nou ns, as w ell as th ^tendep ffy fa Tft* * Qualifying wor ds, 
render t his style far fro m adequate for the expressi on of 
exact scientific r easoning. In this respect, Chinese ideo- 
graphs have fulfilled a useful function, as new scientific 
conceptions can readily be expressed by the use of Chin- 
ese words; thus the Japanese language is being supplied 
with a concise, technical vocabulary. A great difficulty 
has arisen, however, as writers have adopted different 
ideographs to express the same scientific notion: confu- 
sion results and again much energy is wasted in fruitless 
controversies concerning nomenclature. Accordingly the 
opinion is gaining strength that it would after all be bet- 
ter to form such designations out of purely Japanese 



304 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

linguistic materials. When a scientific term dealing with 
things to be seen or otherwise perceived by the senses is 
required, there is no difficulty in supplying an adequate 
word by the use of Chinese roots. It is different, however, 
when a writer has to find an equivalent for some word to 
which cling historical traditions or which has particular 
social and political implications. The translation of a 
word like " bourgeoisie " or " Third Estate " would be far 
from easy, as no simple term could carry within it all the 
concepts that have become concentrated in such an ex- 
pression ; in such cases, too, the use of Japanese descript- 
ive words might be more satisfactory. 

There i« fttjrafffint g™ n g nT1 fl vpr y fatnunntinB nmnl- 

gamation of the HI 1 ^ , ^ft]j , ^LlhP fila 00 ™ 01 "ty 1 * The 
semi-c olloquial written s tyle, which comb ines the chy - 
acteristics of the classical diction and the spo ken lag- 
guage^Tias T>een in useTor some t ime and fa known Off 
gembun itchx.^ HipbemeraTliterature is already largely 
composed in the latter style, while more formal writing 
still follow the classical precedents. In recent discussions 
of this matter, opinion seems to incline toward the belief 
that, as the semi-colloquial is being used more and more 
by cultivated and well-read men like Koyo Ozaki, and is, 
therefore, on the way to become more refined and to 
develop its inherent power, this more natural mode of 
expression is certain to triumph as the chief literary 
medium. 1 Withilllhelas^dec^ade x itJiaajB€kderemark- 

1 Rohan Koda, the noted novelist, uses mainly the literary 
language and quite logically confines the colloquial to the dialogue. 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 305 

a ble progress and already moa fr articles and p eriodicals 
are composed in gembun tirhi whir».h iq npy fdqn cftllpd 



koqo-tai, or co nversatio nal st yle. Moreover i t has b een 
adopted as the medium for liter ary expression by the 
"flhftftK "° * h ** * :}lA » n +i™» ymmgoy B^firfttinn ifl fram- 
i ng accustom ed to its use. It has the disadvantage of 
being more discursive than the classical style, but is less 
stilted and more pliable and expressive of the actual 
sentiments of both writers and people. Consequently it is 
also far more readily understood by the reading public. 
Some writers have favored the return to the gembun 
itchi style used during the later Ashikaga period, in the 
sixteenth century. This style is especially clear and 
forcible. It is composed mostly of Japanese words and 
makes small use of Chinese ideographs. Altogether a 
good deal of attention has been given to questions of lan- 
guage in recent years, with the result that Japan is being 
provided with a literary medium which has close rela- 
tions with everyday speech. 

The improvement in the literary character of collo- 
quial Japanese has had an important influence on orat- 
ory, or it might be more correct to say that gembun itchi 
and oratory have developed side by side. As long as 
only the stilted classical style had any recognized stand- 
ing, it was manifestly impossible to develop a dignified 
and at the same time effective manner of public speaking. 
Elocution would, under such conditions, either be too 
ornate to be intelligible or too informal to be impressive. 



806 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 




rJapaiu 



Betwegi 

no place to grow, u ntil litei 
the colloquial parlance^ Then only did it become possi- 
ble to develop a style of public address which could, on 

weight, a nd, on the other, was t™+ ■*» *** "»™nw* from 

ble^oratleast^deyoidpf dL 

well as to inform the understanding. 

It is interesting to notice the influence of foj 




guages in Japan. The study of 
required in the higher schools. This is a university en- 
trance requirement to which there has been considerable 
opposition on the part of the public and the middle 
schools. The testimony is almost universal that the 
language acquirements of high-school students are very 
meagre and that they are able to get only a smattering 
during their courses. But it is also urged that there is a 
far larger demand for men who have a good reading 
knowledge of wme Western languages in orderJto.be able 
to interpret Western thought in Japan 4 rather-than for 
"men who may excel in carrying on a conversation. It 
is natural, therefore, that reading and translation should 
be emphasised in the high-school courses. Bya strange 
transfer of method, many Japanese teachers have fallen 
into a way of having the English translated literally into 
Japanese, reproducing all the wordgL of-the-erijpnal, 
no matter how unimportant they may bejaj&paneee. 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 307 

This is the method followed in the translation of Chin- 
ese books, but what is perfectly natural in the one case 
produces ludicrous results in the other. Half-educated 
Japanese are ever ready to parade their faulty English 
in print; they seem to underestimate the difficulties of a 
foreign language; and when they have only a smattering, 
will write newspaper notices and even articles without 
having them revised by some one who really knows the 
language. Every traveler in Japan brings back sped- 
mens of such diction, which, in our country, have been so 
deliciously imitated by " Hashimura Togo." It admits of 
no doubt, however, that the study of foreign idioms has 
exercised an important influence upon Japanese intellect- 
ual life. The structure of European languages is logical 
and strict; the use of personal pronouns, tenses, and 
numbers gives the Japanese student training in consistent 
thought and makes him conscious of the logic of expres- 
sion in a manner not to be derived from the mere study 
of his own language. Many of the authors who have a 
good knowledge of English have cultivated in their 
Japanese writings a marked directness of expression and 
closeness of reasoning. Thus, for instance, the prose of 
Soseki Natsume or of Koyo Ozaki in many ways indic- 
ates the influence of English diction; they also often 
use English ideas as the basis for new Chinese or 
Japanese compounds; in this way not only does their 
style become concise and clear, but it is constantly en- 
riched even by a stream of new expressions, which add 



808 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

to the charm of novelty the advantage of expres- 
siveness. 

The Japanflft hftvq frften Iran rip«M»rihftrl «q prnptnn anA 

lacking in imagination, In making an inquiry as to how 
far they really possess this divine faculty, it is necessary 
that we should distinguish between the different modes 
in which imagination manifests itself. The constructive 
imagination which bodies forth before the mental vision 
new and original combinations of ideas wrought into 
organic unity, appears not only in literature, philosophy, 
and the fine arts, but it also guides and inspires the 
scientific discoverer, the constructor of cities, and the 
general who directs a battle or plans a campaign. The 
Jap an oo o mav no t equal the ftrAftl m mH ^t- fiw *nnrf 
m'HmtWpfltmi rnt"^ *n fo°pwpr tnniiir 1 ! 1 ™*? 1 pkjjn- 
sophical and poetical visions, bu t they have certainl y 
exhibited the highest type ofjconstmcii vejmagiliation in 
other directions^ In the Russian War they showed a 
grasp of detail and a power of combining and planning 
which proved able to cope with the greatest strategical 
and tactical problems that have ever confronted man. 
The extent of the battle line, the variety and novelty of 
the means of destruction, the new conditions and unac- . 
customed uses of each military factor — all these were 
wrought by the strategic imagination of a Kodama into 
a force of irresistible impetus. Such a vast complex of 
military details had never before been carried in a hu- 
man mind. Nor could the generals survey the scene from 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 309 

a high eminence; at the staff headquarters they received 
intelligence from all parts of the battle-field by tele- 
phone and their orders flashed to the regiments and 
corps by electricity. Modern war, therefore, requires iit 
its gpnftralfl in* pmrar pf imagfaationJiL a far h igher 
measime t han did all former situa tions of military Read- 
ership^ In the organizations of the banking apd credit 
syste m of Japan, he r statesm en and financiers have shown 
a similar gra sp and comman d of int ang i ble f orces. Nor 
is the transformation of feudal loyalty and traditional 
authority into modern political power a lesser achieve- 
ment. Indeed the Japanese have abundantly demon- 
strated their powers jQf ideal construction: It woitfcTeven 
seem that their imagination at times runs riot and pic- 
tures forth achievements that are not in accord with the 
normal laws of human activity. Their mercurial charac- 
ter renders them visionary. They may see their nation as 
the Lohengrin of Asia, some bold individual may under- 
take to create a new religion, or again publicists will 
agitate a diplomatic policy that rests on airy nothing. 
Yet this characteristic bears witness to the presence of a 
power of imagination which needs only sobering down 
by scientific training to make it effective in durable con- 
struction. As the Japanese learn to understand more 
and more the reign of law in nature and in human affairs, 
the waywardness of their visionary nature will be dis- 
ciplined to more substantial uses. Hearn, who observed 
in the Japanese a certain incapacity for abstract reason- 



310 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

ing, looked forward to the day when they will produce 
"Napoleons of the practical applications of science." 

In the fi eld of fa ncy, th e Japanese are among th e firsk 
Their imaginative life is Ariel-like. It is a spirit^wory 
full of the unaccountable moods of ghos ts *"** fairiAPj 
yet wiSra"cBSrm and g Tftftt r >MrwiftMM>Ma *" *** QWTh, 
What more awesome feat of the imagination than the 
belief that myriads of ancestral ghosts are upholding the 
national life and fighting its battles; that the departed 
witness the actions of to-day, glory in our triumphs, are 
saddened by our defeats! No metaphor here, no poetical 
fancy merely, but a deep conviction of spirit-life, on the 
strength of which statesmen may build policies and risk 
the fortune of unequal war. And in its lighter moods, how 
fanciful is this same spirit-world, how full of delicate 
suggestion and imagery all that is related to it! Mirrors 
are spirit-haunts. Who could ever forget the pathetic 
story, told by Hearn, of the little maiden who held gen- 
tle converse with the reflection in her silver mirror, in the 
belief that it was the face of her departed mother? When 
shrines are erected to the greater among spirits, it is not 
necessary to fill them with images and altars. The 
spiritual pervasion is sufficient; and to those who look in 
through the latticed sides, the vacant space within is 
filled with a presence, all the more impressive as no 
trappings distract the thought from the deep emotion of 
spiritual contact. All nature is alive with the essence of 
past generations. The spirits of the drowned move with 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 311 

the waters forever, and there are lordnspirite of moun- 
tain, river, and of the soil. The soil of Japan is thus sa- 
cred in a sense most real and deeply felt by the people. 
In its lighter moods, fan cy is present everywhe re — in 
the turn of expression, in the interpretation of feeling^ 
inThe description of common tilings. The Japanese are 
quick to discover tEeromimTic uTthe ordinary^ to catch 



unobvi ous analogies; they see exist ence with the eyes of 
umor and fancy. Oro, the goblins, and dennin, the 



fairies, give their names to plants and insects. A snowy 
landscape is spoken of as " a silver world." As in their 
paintings and color prints, the Japanese interpret the 
beauty of snow in an unrivaled manner, so also have they 
expressed its poetry in spoken words, as in the stanza 
written by a woman poet back in the eleventh century: — 

"To my lover 
I thought to show them, 
The sweet plum blossom*. 
Now snow is falling fast. 
Blossoms and snow are one.' 9 

A like mood is portrayed in the following poem, trans- 
lated by Sir Edwin Arnold: — 

"She hid his coat; 

She plucked his sleeve. 
'To-day you cannot go; 

To-day at least you will not leave 

The heart that loves you so.' 

The window (mado) she undid 

And back the panel (shoji) slid, 

And clinging, cried, 'Dear Lord, perceive, 

The whole white world is snow." 9 



312 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

Traditionally, poetic expression in Japan has been con- 
fined to the light lyrical touches of the tonka and haikai. 
These graceful and delicate sketches give mere sugges- 
tions to the mind, which imagination will expand into a 
more complete picture. 

"Morning glories hold 
Bucket at well. 
I beg for water. 19 

This may suggest a garden well overgrown with 
flowers in such profusion that water cannot be drawn 
without tearing away some of the blossoms. So the con- 
siderate maiden must go to the neighbors to ask for 
water. Such poetry does not stifle the imagination; it is 
a stimulus at the touch of which a fertile native fancy 
unfolds its powers. No two men would translate these 
little Japanese poems alike, because each would receive 
from them a different imaginative impulse; but all 
would equally delight in the subtly sweet music of the 
verse. 

Epic and narrative poetry, with the ex cep tion of bal- 
lads, did not exist in Japan, nor any poetry of extensive 
form, exc ept the sol e mn and august hyffl ns~chanted in 
Buddhist and Shinto worsh ip. ""S ome of these are deeply 
effective in their stately cadence and the images shad- 
owed forth in their language. But poetry in Japan has 
never risen to that height and that importance as an 
element in civilization which the Western Muse achieved 
through Homer, Virgil, Dante, Shakespeare, and Goethe. 



INTELLECTUAL. LIFE IN JAPAN 313 

Of late, in the whirl of modern change, Japanes e literary 
■men havp had little t . i m r to dr r am new vi fiion a of pn rt. JQ 
beauty. Still some efforts have been made to develop 
poetic expression. In 1882, three authors published 
jointly a book on the "Poetry of the New Form" (Shin- 
taishi Shu), in an attempt to break down the strict 
formal requirements of older Japanese poetry, and to 
introduce a greater freedom of movement and diversity 
of character. Many experiments have been made. Some 
writers have produced longer poems, divided into stanzas. 
Others have experimented with rhyme, but it is so un- 
adapted to Japanese diction that the syllabic cadence 
had ultimately to be retained. All the innovators favor 
the free use of Chinese words, which is not admissible 
under the traditional rules of poetry in Japan. The Jap- 
anese seem to have the same feeling toward Chinese 
words that we hold toward Latin derivatives. These ap- 
peal to the intellect and, naturally, well express logical 
operations; but of the feelings of the heart we do not like 
to speak in other than the words that have for ages been 
the mother-tongue. 

Amon g the poets who have won special renown in 
breaking away fr om th e older forms of Jap anese versifi- 
cati on, and followi ng original methods of poet ic diction, 
are Toson Shimazaki, the novelist, andBansui Doi. In 
their poems they have allowed themselves a great lati- 
tude of expression, using many Chinese elements and 
modeling the products of their mind upon European art. 



314 CURRENTS IN -THE FAR EAST 

The traditional forms of Japanese prosody have also 
been developed in new directions. Thus the melody of 
the haikai has been infused with fresh grace by Shiki 
Masaoka. Greater flexibility and range of subject- 
matter has been imparted to the uta, a form of verse 
which is appropriate to the expression of elevated 
thought and dignified images. The via has been used 
with great art by the Emperor himself; his productions 
are delicate and thoughtful, and they have been ac- 
corded far more than a mere sucds d'istime. There 
is also a woman poet, Akirako Yosano, who possesses 
a veritable genius for this kind of poetic expression. 
Kainan Mori, a professor at the University of Tokyo, 
who was a close friend and confidant of Prince Ito 
during the latter half of that statesman's career, has 
the reputation of being the greatest expert in Chinese 
poetry. 

It is in connection w ith the dram a that the power of 
Japanese imagination especially reveals itse lf. In our 
Western opera we l et fancy r u le an d- do not s tri ve to 
reconcile the behavior of the beings on the stage with 
logical thought. But for a pure dreamland of historical 
romance and fairy frolic, we mnqt gft to th» Japanffflft 
theat re. T he older dram& jrf Japan was poetical in con- 
cept and form. It still survives in the No plays, which 
are performed privately at court festivals and other 
pretentious entertainments. It is here that the splendor 
of feudal Japan unfolds itself in all its gorgeousness, as 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 315 

Heredia has pictured it for us in his brilliant sonnet. 1 
The resplendent procession moves across the stage to the 
sound of Old- World music, and to the accompaniment of 
classical dancing. Here all the traditions of mediaeval 
art are still alive. Butjthe diction of the dram a is in 
c lassical style s o remo te from t he pr es ent vern acular 
t hat not even educated Japanese can follow th elan- 
guage of the play. It is scarcely more intelligible to 
the audience than is the Greek of JSschylus to an Ameri- 
can play-goer. 

The more popular drama has hitherto pccupied but a 
modest position. ^Play-acting was formerly looked down 

Upon by people ofsocial rfimJfiHg;Ti«tftrH wpjft dggpisftrT 

as outc asts, and ordinary plays were conside red a m using 
only to the rabble. Yetjjgra dual ly the drama was devel- 
op ed into an acknowledged in stitution in nat ional life. 
It is in a sense an outgrowth and vulgarization of the No 
drama, and its material is chiefly historical; the stirring 
life of old feudal Japan — of the Daimios, the Samurai, 
and their attendants — in all its brilliant coloring is un- 
furled before the large audiences of the popular theatre. 

1 "Swords at his sides comes he, 

Deep scarlet in dark armor; and with 

Great Blasons on his shoulders, feared in war. 

Like huge crustacean, shining black and red, 

Lacquer, silk, and bronie from feet to head. 

Glittering and brilliant is this loved one. 

He sees her — smiles beneath his bearded masque, 

And as he hastens, glitter in the sun 

The gold antenna trembling on his casque." 



316 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

Turning aside from the cares of business, the din of ma- 
chinery, and the street turmoil of modern Japan, the 
people here enter the portals of the romantic past and 
steep themselves in the traditional ideals and aspirations 
of their race. Modern life impr ess es both playwright and 
theatre-goer as essentially unromantic; accordingly the 
art of the Japanese theatre has not yet become realistic 



i n structure and ideas: it still aims at edification rather 
than illu sion. ^ Nevertheless, in the portrayal of nature 
ie most realistic effects are achiev ed. The waterfalls 
and snowstorms of the Japanese stage, produced though 
they are by the simplest means, would be the despair of 
the Western stage manager. There is thus a strange 
combination of realistic detail with a dramatic structure 
that makes great demands upon the imagination. The 
theatres harbor large audiences, being often provided 
with seats for as many as four thousand people. As a 
play lasts for at least ten hours, people make themselves 
thoroughly at home in their boxes, order food or eat that 
which they have brought with them, and even change 
the outer layers of their clothing. The acting itself does 
not aim at realism; and as the plays are accompanied 
with music, the actors are obliged to raise their voices to 
a shrill, unnatural pitch. Until very recently wo men 

or>fco«QOQ^jri tint ^flfiftf hpfnrp mpn; Mtnyfl foplr W0 . 
mp^'fl pArfg, Ki]f f frh eir imitatin g ™>™> f *r frgm rPflliat.in 1 

1 Although these actors are much admired by women, and imi- 
tated not a little in their manner of address and outward appear- 
ance. 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 317 

« 

It is said that in the women's special theatres, where only 
women act, men's parts are quite admirably presented. 
Geisha appear in all the plays, but their performances 
are limited to incidental dancing. TheJuniiahiixga_oi_a. 
theatre recall, in their simplicity^thajlays.oi-Sh^e- 
speare. Footli ghts are often provided by_aj;ow of men 

who hold u p paper lanterns Q& fish^poles. 

In addition to th e nistorieal playa, whinh are mpaf. 

poPM lftr, there are nlgo performed fairy p^yff in wH^h 

^rf-fiP^^^g dragons, talking animals, and hold rohher 

chiefs disport themse lves somewhat after the fas^on of 
the s pecta cular )*gM opera in thAWeat Another variety 
of plays, railed Qiytmimo, deal with the affairs e£«eme 
illiifitrionn family nnd usually p ortray tr o u bles between 
Beyer*! of its memhera^or again the plots centre around 
geisha love, the only form of the romantic passion which 
received representation on the old Japanese stage. The 
ideas which are held in the Orient concerning the rela- 
tions between the sexes are so different from our own 
that the leit-motif of neither our novel nor our drama 
could be appreciated by the Japanese. This partly ac- 
counts for the difficulty of introducing the Western 
drama into Japan. 1 

1 A Japanese, after seeing Julius Ccnar performed in London, 
wrote as follows: " Portia spoke to Brutus in far too familiar a 
manner, actually putting her face near that of her husband's and 
placing her arms around him — liberties that no Japanese wife 
would dream of taking with her lord. The Japanese wife who saw 
this performed would at once say, 'This is too geisha-like.'" An 
unconscious self-criticism of Japanese social life! 



318 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

That the national drama of Japan will develop along 
new lines is certain. Muc h that a mu sed in the old thea- 
tre is already bewmin^jweariaQmfi^adJhere is a strong 
demand for a drama that will real ly hold t he mirror up 
to Japanese life. As the diction of the traditionafplays 
is not at all intelligible and action reduces itself to pan- 
tomime, the demand is becoming strong that the lan- 
guage of the stage should correspond to the spoken 
idiom. Dramas have been composed in accordance with 
these ideas by prominent writers such as TsuboGchi, 
Yamazaki, and Sano. Tsubotichi's plays (for instance, 
Maki-nchkaia) are melodramatic, but contain forcible 
scenes and are notably free from the mannerisms and ex- 
travagances of the older drama. Some use has recently 
been made of novels as the basis for plays, but the dra- 
matic sense of the Japanese is too keen to submit to such 
a practice. They demand truly dramatic situations, and 
the story of a novel, developed through dialogue, is not 
sufficient to satisfy them. As the life of modern Japan 
comes upon the stage, its dramatic features will claim 
attention, rather than the psychological analysis con- 
tained in the dialogues of a novel. 

The Japanese national theatre has maintained itself 
and has, indeed, developed considerably during the Meiji 
era. Some actors, like Danjuro, have achieved national 
reputation, and have been given social honors which 
formerly would not have been accorded to any profes- 
sional players. Recently the daughters of Danjuro were 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 319 

even advised by a prime minister himself to go upon the 
stage; and, entire ly contrary to Japanese traHitmn^ ft 
dramat ic school for wo men has been founded aLTokssk. 
TE^Tgraduates of it are to replace the actors who have 
hjtWfo faiVpn femqJ ^ parts . ln~order to place the* 
drama on a high social footing, only women of education 
who come from good families are admitted to th5P 



sc hool The actors, Eawakami and Madame Sada^ 
Yacco, have been of late the most ardent supporters of 
improvement in the Japanese theatre, as well as the 
strongest exponents of Western dramatic art, both in its 
classic and realistic form. Their exertions have met 
with great applause; and through encouragement of 
wealthy citizens of Tokyo, they have been enabled to 
build a new playhouse, sumptuous in its appointments 
and fashioned upon European models. The only Japan- 
ese feature preserved in the architecture of this house is 
the flower path (hanamichi), the elevated passageway 
by which actors pass from the rear of the auditorium to 
the stage in full view of the audience. The principal aim 

ThAftt.ro (7Wfe/>foi-»/i) wag 

wWp p fa addi tion to the pla ys 




o f Japan, the European drama miffht be present ed. A 
n ew channel is thus opened through which the art of th e 
W est may g™ r fiififi * n inflllOT ^ "p™i thftt of Japan . But 
the success of the experiment is still problematical, as it 
depends upon the attitude which will be assumed by the 
intelligent public and literary men who have thus far 



320 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

not been particularly inclined to admire the Western 
drama. 

The literary history of the Meiji era may be divided 
into two completed periods and a third which has just 
begun, being in its development parallel to the evolution 
of social and ethical thought which has already been al- 
luded to. T he first was the period of the adoption of 
European models, which lasted for twenty years, until 
about 1888. A t that t ime there took place a sudden 
fA«£!t.iftp Agftipfltf Avprythjng ffi ffitem^a reactte n^whieh r 
in the politica l world, led to j* *uitpN^ ^ f ftM€»Mn na ^igna 
andattackgjipo n statesmen. The second period, an era 
of the militant nation alism, lafitff* fftt> ft * VMlf fifa*»n yfigrf? , 
and in a sense it has not yet pas sed. Since the time of 
the transition from century to century, national thought 
has been controlled by a tendency called Nippon Shugi, 
or Japonicism. This is a modificaton of the radical form 
of nationalism, inasmuch as it does not oppose enti rely 
the adoption bfloreign instit utions, method s, and ide as, 
but insists upon giving them the specific imprint of Jap- 
anese nationa lity* Thus if European ChristianityTTSu- 
ropean jurisprudence, European literary methods, are 
to be tolerated at all, there must be infused into them 
the essential characteristics of Japanese civilization. 
During the last decade a great many new influences have 
manifested themselves, which have led to an individual- 
ization of thought. Realism and naturalism in art have 
given an overpowering impulse to individualist tenden- 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 321 
cies. The present era in Japan is one of universal ™&r oh 



««» 



and questioning; no theory is wi thout it « y^ttft 1 ^^, p fl 
new conception but is voiced with acclaim by ever hope- 
ful seekers after light. All this has had a decidedly un- 
settling effect, but the need for positive beliefs and for 
constructive action is strongly felt, and men are earn- 
estly casting about for adequate ideals and principles. 

In fiction, the differences in method which character- 
ize European literary work are found also in Japan. 
The Essence of Fiction, a little work published by Doctor 
Tsubouchi in 1885, had a profound influence in making 
writing more natural and observation more direct. 
Among realist writers, the lead is attributed to Koyo 
Ozaki, a man of wide culture and great literary power, 
while Hasagawa, who died in 1909, stood for naturalism, 
the later development of the realistic tendencies. On the 
other hand, Rohan Koda represents the idealists. His 
work is largely in the realm of historical romance, as, for 
instance, Hige^Otoko, a story of the civil wars of the 
eighteenth century. He is a master of the classical style, 
which he interweaves with colloquial forms. His de- 
scriptions are poetical, but the movement of his stories 
is slow and his discussions drag somewhat. Another 
idealist, Fumio Yano, gained surprising success, espe- 
cially with his story, Keikoku Bidan, which dealt with 
life in Thebes at the time of Epaminondas. This his- 
torical novel sold in such quantities as to enable the 
author to buy himself a house and to take a trip to 



322 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

Europe, — a return most unusual in the annals of Jap- 
anese literature. Doctor Yuxo Tsubotichi, who in his 
Essence of Fiction denounced the artificial style and 
morality of Bakin, has himself produced a number of 
novels which contain graphic sketches, though they are 
not notable from the point of view of plot or portrayal 
of character. We could hardly expect vivid or searching 
delineations of special types from Japanese novelists, 
who are just beginning to train themselves in the careful 
observation of individual traits. The manner of psycho- 
logical analysis, which with us is illustrated by George 
Meredith and Henry James, is being cultivated by a 
school of writers who are known by the name of FtUabo- 
Kai. The principal among these is Soseki Natsume 
(Kinnosuke). Mr. Natsume is a thorough student of 
English literature and has, also, a good command of 
Chinese. This training has enabled him to enrich the 
Japanese language with many concepts and terms deal- 
ing with social and individual psychology. Another im- 
portant element in his training as a writer is his practice 
in the composition of haikai, which has given marked 
terseness and nervousness to his style. Like the writings 
of his American compeer, the novels of Natsume are 
caviar to many. His disquisitions on mental philosophy 
are understood with difficulty by the ordinary reader, 
who prefers small talk and easy gossip to a psychological 
criticism of the follies and weaknesses of mankind. Nat- 
sume has special regard for the fiction of English-speak- 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 323 

ing nations, and less sympathy for the productions of 
France and Russia. But while not a follower of the 
naturalist school and its Russians models, he is far from 
being an active opponent, but says good-naturedly that 
he writes only for indolent people who do not care for 
violent shocks. The romanticist tendency was most 
strongly represented by Takayama, who has already 
been mentioned as the leader of the Japonicist move- 
ment. A young woman, Ichyo Higuchi,who died in 1898 
at the age of twenty-five, won wide reputation through 
her romances, which are still very popular among Japan- 
ese readers. Her works are chiefly love-stories which 
are developed in a setting of Tokyo city life. 

The schoo l which is at t he present tlipq qfaariy fa fly 
a scendent i s thp f l™™»™ «*» ^ftfiiraliflm Tt Hrawa it* in- 
spiration chiefly from Russian and French writers. 1 
Kunikida introduced through translations the novels of 
Turgenieff, Dostoievsky and Gorki into Japan; Flaubert 
and Maupassant are also prominent among the models 
of this school. Perhaps the most noted author of this 
group is Hasagawa, who died in 1909. He also trans- 
lated Russian books, but is of greater importance 
through the manner in which he introduced the collo- 
quial gembun itchi into literature. 

It is natural that these writers should have attempted 
to elevate the colloquial dialect to literary uses; but 

1 There is even published a magaane, The Russia BungakUj 
which is devoted entirely to Russian literature. 



324 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

Hasagawa first showed the way in which this could be 
done in an effective and dignified manner. It is already 



apparent that the gfc»Hy <rf fJiA pr***. Enmppan mo^^ ]a 
of rgaEmTEashad an intensely stimulating effect upo n 
li terary eff ort in Jftp^n- Th ere is among literary men a 
itifltinAt TTYulfrifin againftt purpftmi nftvris nnd nt ber p ro- 
ductions of the c onventional typ e. They have begun to 
see in the accurate portrayal of the life about them in 
all its moods and phases the true field of literary art. 
Advance has also been made in improving the structure 
and movement of novels; they have gained in complex- 
ity, but also in directness. It is not only in the produc- 
tion of longer novels that the present litterateurs excel, 
but they, in many cases, rival the European models in a 
masterly treatment of shprt-story themes. At the pre- 
se nt time the fic tion writers of Jnpan whn irmy hn nnn 
sidered men of achievement, or at least of high promise, 
are"numbered by scores. It would be difficult to make a 
selection that would be just to all; suffice it, therefore, 
to indicate a few who, in addition to the writers already 
mentioned, have gained special prominence. Work of 
deep psychological insight has been produced by Toson 
Shimazaki, who, in books like Ie, practices a most del- 
icate analysis of mental states. Mori Ogwai, in Seinen 
("Young Men"), and Homei Iwano, in Horo ("The 
Surging Wave"), have recently furnished notable con- 
tributions to literary expression. The last-named author 
is perhaps the most Zolaesque of the Japanese novelists, 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 325 

and, indeed, he almost outdoes the French master in the 
brutal directness of his realistic descriptions. Kwatai 
Tayama excels in short stories in which he deals with 
complex phases of character and striking situations in 
contemporary social life. The atmosphere of these lit- 
erary works is usually sad even to pessimism; they pre- 
sent rather sombre views of human destiny. But occa- 
sionally an author like Kafu Nagai comes forward with 
a more brilliantly colored picture of contemporary life, 
instinct with the wondrous animation of Oriental im- 
agery. With all this activity, perfo rmances may be 
e xpected of Japa nese fiction whi ch will soqn^arreet the 
at tention of our ow n lite rar y world. The keenness of 
vision and sureness of touch and the remarkable power 
of selection, which constitute the supreme merits of 
Japanese pictorial art, are now being manifested also in 
literary expression. All these writers take their subjects 
excl usively from Japanese life, which they See k to fw r- 
tray with all its local color^ drawing awav fro m the 
established Tokyo c haracteristics and other conv en- 
tiona l meth ods in fic tion. The romantic hero of the 
earlier novels finds no admission to these pages, which 
deal rather with gloomy, tired, and despondent individ- 
uals, and touch preferably upon the serious problems of 
life. These writers do not aim at a high finish in style 
according to the older standards; but the earlier stylists 
certainly seem shallow in the substance of their work in 
comparison with these vigorous book-wrights. 



326 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

Mr . Rohan Koda has rec ently pron ounced him self 
upon current tendencies in Japanese fiction. He depre- 
cates the loose methods of modern writers who, instead 
of polishing the ir style an Jputting^a de ep meaning into 
their languag e, write inj^ superfi cial manner so as to be 
intelligible at a glan ce. He believ«9 thfrt th e lo v ers of 
re dly good literat ure have become 1 p»* nnrnftirfliifl He 
is especiall y out of sy mpathy igjfh th* +/mrl<>nr»y fa p^. 
tray Hie deformed and abnormal. As the ordinary phe- 
nomena of social life are not interesting enough to some 
novelists, they exploit the things which cause surprise 
or disgust. Answering these strictures of Koda, another 
writer admits that modern novels deal mostly with 
men or women who are in some way unbalanced — at 
least, nervous and hysterical; yet he takes comfort in 
the thought that the writers of these stories may be 
about to fathom the deeper problems of human nature 
and that the study of the abnormal may yield import- 
ant results. He adds: "We who belong to a new era 
should go wherever men go and see all that can be seen." 
Many of the better class of novelists look upon them- 
selves as public educators, and attempt to inculcate 
ideals of devotion and duty by the examples which they 
depict in their novels. Yet there is also a large class of 
popular fiction which for its interest relies entirely upon 
illicit and vulgar relations. 

As_fthyfirly indicated, thft indirant, inflnpnnp nf forei gn 

lite rature and langu ages has been vgry pnfAnt i^ Jnpnn 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 327 

Foreign models have been consciously imitate<i__al-_ 
t hough — as in the case of the drama — there is always 



§ barrier to the full appreciation of Western art in fic- 
tion in the different attitude of the two civilizations 
to wards t he problem of sex and of character development. 
The triumphs and defeats of a Becky Sharp, the simple 
life of Silas Marner, the tragedy of Tess, all these are so 
deeply founded in our social experience, that they bear 
but little meaning to the Japanese. It is, therefore, nat- 
ural that when drawing upon Western literature in trans- 
lation, they should choose stories of adventure, even cheap 
detective yarns, in preference to those writings which we 
consider masterpieces. It is amusing to reflect that the 
first English novel which had the honor of being trans- 
lated into Japanese was Lord Lytton's Ernest Maltr avers, 
than which a weaker, more inane or more artificial spe- 
cimen of novel writing could scarcely be found among 
books of standing in English. Yet it is on the basis of 
this that many Japanese formed their opinion of West- 
ern fiction. It is, however, just to say that there are 
also very discriminating readers in Japan whose valua- 
tion of our literary work does not differ materially from 
our own standards. Among writers whose books have 
found special favor are not only Rider Haggard, Jules 
Verne, Anthony Hope, Conan Doyle, and Max O'Rell, 
for the lighter class, but also Dumas, Cervantes, Zola, 
Hugo, and Goethe. The genius of the latter is valued 
far more highly than that of Schiller, and in general it 



328 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

may be said that what has been called the silver-lined 
school, including poets like Schiller and Longfellow, is 
not much regarded in Japan. Both Scott and Shelley 
are popular poets, but Byron especially enjoys a strong 
vogue among young men. Among English novelists, 
none is more widely read in Japan than Dickens. 

Tfw iptArftgting fa note the connection of author ship 
withJoc^Jnfluence. — Thuo far the influence ofl tEeT 

nfttmrml ftftp ftfrl hfl * bppn fllLimpnrtnwf in Tnpnnnnn li t, 

erature. JThe life of Tokyo has a milieu all its own. 
During the Tokugawa Shogunate, it was the centre of 
feudal life, where congregated the daimios with their 
retainers. A type of character was developed which dif- 
fers even more from that of the Japanese in general than 
metropolitan character is ordinarily distinguished from 
the national life about it. The Tokyo townsmen, the 
Edokko, are popularly described as persons boastful in 
speech, presumptuous and quarrelsome in behavior, and 
improvident in the expenditure of money. These char- 
acteristics of the Edokko are explained as an imitation 
of the manners of the professional warrior class of feudal 
days, among whom swashbucklers were not uncommon. 
These military men insisted upon cringing servility on 
the part of the lower orders. They hardened themselves 
by partaking of unsavory dishes, such as chopped salted 
worms, centipede soup, and pickled frogs. In summer, 
they would sit in heated rooms, while in winter they 
exposed themselves to cold. They affected shortness of 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 329 

speech, abbreviating words and speaking in curt phrases 
resembling the Schneidigkeit of German officers. The 
lower orders, forced into a position of crouching obse- 
quiousness, were nevertheless eager to pick up the man- 
ner of the superior beings. Native critics of Tokyo life 
further portray the populace as superficial, devoted to a 
shallow optimism, prone to conceal its real feeling, given 
to fickleness and levity, and deficient in stability of 
purpose. 

Exaggerated though these characteristics undoubt- 
edly are by novelists, for literary effect, their portrayal 
yet gives the dominant note to recent Japanese fiction. 

In Tokyo, light literature finds its source and centre. 

__^ — ^- — ^— — ^— — > ' 

T he scenes o* n o vft1g *"* 1f "** f h ere and the language em- 
ployftdjs^the Tokyo flrtlnqnial. ttnt. it cannot be said 
tSatthere has been produced a literature with an effect- 
ive grasp of a local situation, even for the life of Tokyo. 
The great importance of the capital is the result of the 
centralizing tendency through which all Japanese life 
has been unified and brought under one system. Uni- 
formity of education and the imitation of foreign models 
have to a large extent neutralized local influence. The 
novels are all cast in one mould; local differences and the 
perception of individual traits are overridden by general 
ideas. £heburden of the classicism of a past, whe n me n 
were not free to write as they ple ased but were obliged to 
foll ow models in a servile manner, also still weighs upon 
japanooo litAr^jy ]\f? Vpf. Yanagawa feels encouraged 



330 CURRENTS IN THE EAR EAST 

to speak of the "new and strong freshness which fills the 
air of our literary world. 11 Most recently, through the 
efforts and observations of the naturalist school, Tokyo 



is coming t o be ousted from the position of domina nce 
which it has occupied, for writ ers are beginning to study 
th eir local env iwfl)mf* nf *"** to give their novels more 
individual character. 



It is notable, in view of what has been said above con- 
cerning literary expression, that the Japanese neverthe- 
less seem to have a delicate sense for the effects produced 
upon human character by different localities. One 
writer says that in Tokyo it is easy to distinguish be- 
tween men who dwell on the hills and those who live 
below amid the bustle and turmoil of the streets: 
"Though we may meet such persons only casually, we 
shall know from their behavior and their language 
where they come from." This is borne out by our recol- 
lection of the strife which arose between Confucian 
scholars who dwelt in the lower part of the town (Shiia- 
Machi) and those who lived on the heights (Yama-no-te) . 
It has also been observed that the books composed in 
the North of Japan are more gloomy and serious than 
those written by Southerners. 

In the essay the favorite form is biographic a l. T he 
careers of prominent men — writers, politicians, je adere 
in industrial life — are a never-failing subject of inter- 
est l foreign notAb^t^ L toc^flre^clud e4 in the rep^r- 

toire — from monarchs and presidents to criminals and 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 331 

revolutionaries. The men who attain the greatest repu- 
tation, and who are most worshiped by the public, and 
especially by the young, are, next to successful generals, 
the leaders in state affairs. Parliamentary life ; though 

as yet Only mipft^nfoj jn_ its political infliiftnftft, Jian 

neverfcEeiess made a striking impression upon the imag- 
ination of young men. A method by which magazine 
editors have of late been trying to interest their readers 
and increase their circulation is in each issue to dissect 
some prominent literary man. Concerning the victim 
chosen for such distinction, other litterateurs are inter- 
viewed; and their opinions on his work and personality, 
the quality of his style, the points of strength and weak- 
ness in his methods, are published at length. This pro- 
cess of being laid upon the operating-table is by no 
means grateful to men of sensitive, retiring dispositions; 
but there is no help for it, they have to pay the price of 
notability. On the other hand, there is thus brought 
before the public much that is of real interest. While it 
is unusual for prominent men of affairs to write for Jap- 
anese magazines, a very common way of bringing their 
thought before the public is to have them interviewed. 
From the standpoint of the subject of the sketch, there 
is an advantage in that the editor alone is responsible for 
the exact expressions used, a specific statement to that 
effect being usually made. The Japanese statesman is, 
therefore, under no obligations to disavow any of the 
ideas in an interview which he may find inconvenient. 



332 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

Among recent essayists, none has won greater consid- 
eration than Shuntei Toyabe. This notable writer, who 
died in 1908, made his style especially powerful through 
an intimate knowledge of Chinese, which enabled him to 
use old idioms and classical allusions in such a way as to 
express modern thought in an original and striking man- 
ner. In his biographical essays, which were written with 
a masterly hand, he always took pains to give his sub- 
ject a historical and literary setting. In the characters 
which he studied and portrayed, he saw preferably the 
nobler side of human nature, although he also knew how 
to deal critically with the current action of public men. 
Thus he exercised a great influence upon public opinion, 
and it would have been possible for him to become a pow- 
erful factor in practical politics had he so desired. As 
an analyst of human qualities, he may be compared to 
Macaulay, even in the brilliance of his style. It is inter- 
esting to hear Toyabe say, " The four men whom I most 
admire are Chow Kung, Shakespeare, Emerson, and 
Carlyle." The deep meaning of Chow, the superhuman 
talent for character analysis displayed by Shakespeare, 
and the insight which distinguish Carlyle and Emerson 
were what attracted him to these men. Another essayist 
of great reputation is Shiga, a man trained in the Sap- 
poro Agricultural College. Rather than seek inspiration 
in Western literature, as so many other Japanese 
have done, Shiga has nourished his spirit through the 
intimate study of Chinese poetry. His best-known 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 333 

writings are essays on Japanese scenery and stories of 
his travels. 

Among all form s of literary expre^iox^ the n ewspap er 
p r m i has rftfiftiYPffl trKu e r° ftfA rt '™pftfrus throug h^ the 
chang es introduced during the Meiji era. The Japanese 
are, in general, not a bookish people. Ther e is a commo n 
feeling that a wise man ne ed nnt r e ad) nnd t hnm in li ttle 

real taste for literaty \rft frmonfl thp mawflfl nf iha pnpnla- 
tkm. Books do not play thft pmminAnt part in Japan that 
is accorded the m in th e life of thfiffi est; but on the other 

hand, ch fr*p, IjgV.fiVtinn and nftmpapfriM flro rop^ ft flrroof 

deal, and the publicist large^as nearly all J apanese h ave 
a readmgjmosdfidge. Thus the press has become a gr eat 
power in Japan, bo th for good and forevil. And this, 
even in its infancy, for it is almost a creation of the 
Meiji era, though even under the Shogunate news sheets 
(Yamiwri) were given out. These, published as occasion 
demanded, were printed from blocks, although move- 
able letters had been in use for some centuries, 1 and 
were hawked about the streets after any event had 
occurred of sufficient note to warrant publication. A 
description of the deeds of the Forty-seven Ronin was 
circulated about the streets of Tokyo within a few 
hours after their death. Sometimes the imagination 

1 The scene in a modern Chinese or Japanese printing-office is 
very lively. As a paper has to use at the very least ten thousand 
different characters, the work of the printer's "devil" calls for 
great agility, as he runs back and forth from the type cases to fur- 
nish the characters required by the head compositor. 



334 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 



was drawn on and events were reported before they had 
happened. 

Sin ce the Restoration, journals have been establishe d 
in increasing numbers until they now form ft 




PiPimftTrhjn Jftpftiift«A niviligfrtinn. Among the papers 
which are noted for their influence and the excellence of 
their subject-matter are the Asaki, the Jiji, the Nichi- 
Nichi, the Hochi, and the Kokumin. These journals 
compare favorably with the press of other nations, al- 
though in general their foreign news service is rather 
meagre, since regular correspondents are maintained 
only in China and in two or three of the most important 
Western capitals. Formerly there existed a great many 
publications of doubtful respectability which were taken 
up largely with personal notes and scandal. The numb er 
of these absolutely "Yfill nw " j™ irnfl 1 g ho^ Wn grpntly 
reduced of late thl^g* 1 ttlp iwntmligfttfoQ of the news- 
paper business. The sole object of this class of papers was 
to make a sensation, and they were exceedingly unscru- 
pulous in the manner in which they dealt with private 
character. As a result, while they were read eagerly for 
the spicy information which they contained, they were 
not taken seriously by the public. When they under- 
took to deal with important matters, no attention was 
given to them, so that even a splendid "scoop" was not 
believed and received no credit. In t he last few y ears 
the press of Japan has rnidrrgnnp n radinal tmnnforma 
tion. The smaller papers have been a bsorbed; and the 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 335 

la iye metropolitan journals no w print sp ecial editio ns 
fny flrc HifTAront. w»litw Thus the Kokumin prints 
about twenty editions daily, most of which are local 
papers having one page devoted to the affairs of the 
town for which they are issued. Only a few large ind e- 
pendent local p apers are left in Japan*, among, theinthe 
Ajahiejid Mainichi of Osa ka. As already indicated, the 
centralization has also, to a large extent, wiped out the 
irresponsible "yellow" press. But, on the other hand, 
"yellow" press methods have been extensively adopted 
by almost all the newspapers, so that the social news 
presented is usually of a sensational character. This 
amalgamation of conservative and "yellow" journalism 
has a very important bearing in the matter of language* 
Formerly the better newspapers attempted to follow the 
classical literary style. As this was not readily under- 
stood by uneducated people, the small sheets which 
catered to the wants of the masses, and which were writ- 
ten in a colloquial style, were read by the multitudes. 
The recent development of gembun itchi as a literary 
mode of expression has enabled the standard newspapers 
to adapt themselves more completely to the needs of the 
general public. It was inevitable that there should be a 
certain letting-down of standards. News items had to be 
admitted which suited the small-minded and whose pre- 
sence cannot be looked upon as an educational influ- 
ence. But in general, the serious press of Japan occu- 
pies a position of real influence, through the moulding of 



336 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

an intelligent and responsible public opinion. Editorial 
writers, while poorly paid, l are respected, and repeatedly 
men have, through their work in the sanctum, prepared 
themselves for performing the duties of high public 
office. 
A situation has Kuan ffitfthliflfa^ fa JftPf n which 



makes t he growth of <t p!a«b q( jpfopgn dent literary m en 

 ii. - ^^^p^i^B^i^*^^ 

pngyft)1fl Thft rWflopinpnt of it li^rgft rPftHinp; pnhlir. 
wh\c\\ irtftlndpfl mtm nf ftjl dfigrffift ftf *"!+""» ft"d a Y«™+y 

part of writers. The returns, while still modest, are yet 
in many cases sufficient to enable a successful literary 
man to support himself with his pen. A poor man will 
naturally seek to connect himself with some journal or 
magazine so as to have steady occupation. Those who 
have gained more literary fame may be able to put forth 
individual works at a considerable profit. Some novels 
sell in tens of thousands, whereas thirty years ago no 
book would be issued in more than a few hundred copies. 
While the results of the literary democratization of Japan 
may not be altogether encouraging, since an impetus 
has been given to certain contaminating influences and 
enterprises, yet in all this activity there is enough of 
sound literary development to be full of promise for the 

1 Some of the larger papere have indeed begun to pay hand- 
some salaries to their editors and attract men of the highest abil- 
ity. Thus, Mr. Natsume, who was a lecturer on English literature 
at the University of Tokyo, left his position to become a contributor 
to the Asahi. 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 337 

future. In former years the writer who was not a priest 
or a Samurai poet was looked upon as a man without a 
calling, and his life was indeed precarious and generally 
sad. Even now Japan has not, indeed, as yet passed be- 
yond the period of Grub Street literary life. A great many 
writrrf Lnf ability am for rr d In i i f i u^l i ui l l i imuu li y 
a nd to live, ho yftvp r much t h ey m a y dinliko it, n B ohc^ 
miflii life.. As late as 1909 a prominent literary man, Bi- 



zan Kaw akami, committed suicide because ^5 T poverty. 
Another martyr was Ryokuwu Saito, who also died a 



shortiime^ago. His novels, well designed and carefully 
written, are conceived in the spirit of realism; by temper 
he was a satirist, and his observations on character are 
keen and cutting. In his personal fortune, Saito was 
most unhappy. His bad health was made more unbear- 
able by his poverty. Though he was punctilious in so- 
cial observances, he was perforce ultra-Bohemian in his 
private life. Being improvident as well as poor, he resem- 
bled the eighteenth century poets whose struggles and 
sufferings Johnson has described for us. With the excep- 
tion of rare intervals of revelry, he usually had to buy his 
food from stands on the streets or even to go hungry. 
He shunned society, and would not allow even his friends 
to know where he lived, mailing letters from offices dis- 
tant from his place of residence, in order to keep from 
them a knowledge of his abject poverty. 

There are other authors in Japan who, while living a 
life of great simplicity, are surely enjoying the fullest 



338 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

happiness. Such was Fgkuzwa. Adventuresome in his 
youth in the pursuit of knowledge, he braved poverty 
and danger in order to master whatever was accessible 
of Western learning. When the new era dawned, the mas- 
tery he had acquired enabled him to become a great 
teacher of his nation; yet so narrow was the conservat- 
ism of the many that he was constantly in danger of 
violence at the hands of reactionaries. Meanwhile he 
worked on with might and main writing his books on 
European civilization, and through the columns of the 
Jiji bringing the light of Western thought to the people 

Of Japan. To gether w ith Fii1riir»hi ^ hiutnmn thft fru inrlo* 

A f thft tt"^*™ Tppftnpqft -pgggft His books had an enor- 
mous circulation. The Gakumon-no-8V*ume is reported 
to have sold seven hundred thousand copies within 
five or six years of its publication, and altogether mil- 
lions of volumes of Fukuzawa's works were circulated. 
The income from these writings was invested in a great 
school, Keio Gijuhu, where he gathered about him hun- 
dreds of promising men who carried his ideas to the ends 
of the country. The welding of a nation, the breaking- 
down of the distinctions between warriors and peasants, 
is the work which he promoted. No writer of Japan has 
wielded a greater influence. The man's great simplicity 
and his notable geniality of manner won the hearts of his 
students and enlisted their undying friendship. Very 
fond of traveling, he took numerous trips in company 
with members of his family and friends, sometimes 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 889 

going with a party of twenty or more. On these trips 
he was satisfied to travel most modestly and to live on 
the ordinary fare at the inns. He was a good traveling 
companion, and, though always the leader, placed abso- 
lutely no restraint upon those with him, allowing his 
companions to arrange their life according to their own 
convenience. A tremendous walker, he even in his old 
age took trips in the mountains on which younger men 
could scarcely follow him. 

A man of interesting personality is Doctor Nitobe, 
^^^RfiHo^ whore mtfiUftftfaiftl developm ent has b een 
greafcinfluencfid by Western knowledge; in fact his in- 
t a llootual cultur c . -aaJde-freflfr. Tftpanpflp H vili zation, co mes 
almost, entirely ffom the Went. His most famous book is 
the little volume in praise of Bushido in which he gives 
an admirable analysis of that ethical code. Doctor 
Nitobe has a directness of manner, a candidness of 
speech, which in the eyes of the Japanese make him re- 
semble a foreigner. While in general the Japanese are 
uncommunicative and even secretive, suppressing their 
individual thoughts and emotions, Doctor Nitobe speaks 
out and makes known exactly what he thinks and feels. 
He has given special attention to technical training, 
being a graduate of the Sapporo Agricultural School, pro- 
fessor of agricultural economics at the Imperial Uni- 
versity, and late director of the First Higher School at 
Tokyo. He professes Chirstianity, but believes that the 
Japanese Church should do its own thinking. Aside 



340 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

from his renown as a writer and teacher, Doctor Nitobe 
is also widely known and in great demand as a speaker 
at public meetings, rivaling Count Okuma in popularity. 
Another type of Japanese intellect appears in Do ctor 
Jiro K itao, who di ed in 1907. A y *ry piwwinna rj} iM , 
he had mastered at^ the age o f t^n thft rK^ nooonlaaQ ^ and 
was able to write Chinese poetry. His prodigious mem- 
ory was especially noteworthy. At the age of sixteen 
he went to Germany, where he stayed for thirteen years, 
studying under Helmholz and other men of science. He 
later had a controversy with the great German physicist, 
because of Kitao's claim that he was himself the original 
inventor of the leucoscope. After he returned to Japan, 
Kitao became a professor at the Imperial University 
and at the College of Agriculture. He always retained 
great interest in German literature, studying Goethe 
and even writing a voluminous German novel, Wald- 
nymphe. His scientific works on metallurgy and subsoil 
moisture were also published chiefly in German. When 
he first returned to Japan, he had forgotten his mother 
tongue to such an extent that it was difficult for him to 
deliver his lectures. He soon recovered his mastery, 
however, and his wonderful memory made it possible for 
him to use the most difficult Chinese idioms, with which 
he often astonished his students. He had also given 
much attention to Greek literature, and was a lover of 
music. Though married and having a pleasant family 
life, he was a recluse, living day and night with 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 341 

books. He seldom retired before two o'clock and fre- 
quently studied through the night. When he had 
worked for a long time over some difficult matter and 
finally a solution flashed upon him, he would shout 
banzai so loudly that every one in the house would be 
aware of his triumph. In his zeal for knowledge, he ne- 
glected his bodily welfare; his nerves became overwrought 
and toward the close of his life, he at times went into a 
state of ecstasy. 

C ountry life has a grea t attraction for Japanese 
authors, f™ jjnany n f ih * m fAp1 * y^rn^g for tire. ^ 
Thus, Eenjiro Tokutomi has become a veritable Tolstoy, 

jivjnfl n Q thft farm an d tilling the soiTwitFEia ownhandfi 

He says, "For a man like me to be living the life of a 
peasant may seem a profitless undertaking, but I know 
nothing comparable to what I feel when I tread the 
ground barefoot. Here it is that a man gets strength. It 
seems to me that those who are nearest the earth are 
nearest to heaven." He enjoys the quiet, simple life, the 
hard work of the field, the sound sleep with which it is 
rewarded, all of which refresh his spirits wearied with the 
toils and distractions of modern city existence. Years 
ago Tokutomi visited Tolstoy at Yasnaya Polyana. He 
conceived a great admiration for the master, whom he 
has since followed in his ethical and political doctrines. 
During and after the anarchist trial of 1910, Tokutomi 
severely criticized the Government for its action. Sig- 
nificant of the divergences of individual development in 



342 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

modern Japan is the wide difference between the attitude 
and views of Uiis writer and those of his brother, Yichiro 
the renowned editor of the metropolitan journal Koku- 
mtn, who is one of the foremost moulders of political 
opinion in Japan. 

It may *1an_hft jnfAiwrf.ing {n fftfntft fife thft lite <\t p 

publisher, Hanshichi Yoshikawa, who died recently. 

"He began life as an apprentice boy m a rice sh op. As 
rice merchants resorted to underhanded means of mak- 
ing gains, he left his master and engaged under a confec- 
tioner. Finding the eating of sweetmeats bad for his 
stomach, he went on to a second-hand store, but there he 
soon discovered that his master's profit came from sell- 
ing counterfeit articles, to which practices he refused to 
lend his assistance. He therefore determined to seek 
employment in a bookshop, considering that book deal- 
ers trade for the benefit of their fellow men rather than 
for personal gain. He began by hgwlnn g fa^la atffiyt 
Osaka and Yeddcu After he had established a shop of 
his own 1 he opened a reading-room, where, for one sen per 
hour, students were able to consultJbh^Jiefitauthors. 

~-6rraduaIly r ^h"e won the confidence of teachers and the 
public and was intrusted with the publication of many 
important books, building up in this way a large and 
profitable trade. After his death his name was com- 
memorated by his descendants through the republication 
of a valuable dictionary. 
The types of experience above portrayed are taken 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 343 

from a great mass of material, and the selection does not 
in all cases imply exceptional prominence of the particu- 
lar man in the intellectual life of Japan, but is intended 
to illustrate the various phases of literary activity as 
well as the conditions under which men work. The posi- 
tion of literary men in Japan differs in many essential 
respects from that which is accorded writers of promin- 
ence in the Western world. The individuality of liter- 
ary f amejmd literary personality in its va rious aspects 
havenot been dfiYftlorH fa fo« Qrfant t,n nearly thf ffftlPlL 
extent aa in the West^ The great books toj gfrich me n 
return Again f»H flgfiin for guidfuwi and innpirntinn 

Werej&itten thousands Of y**r* ngn, *nt\ tha mt^ whn 
earned fam^bftrafterwnn thftir IftUrefo Uffllftll V ^Y ™2r 

i pg commentaries upon, the-damifl tats. Naineriksfcu 
tachedJg_orig3a»lity. Moreover, most writings were 
anonymous; especially if they were original was it advis- 
able that the author should not make his personality too 
prominent. While learning has always been respected, 
authorship has never commanded the consideration in 
Japan and other Oriental countries that it has enjoyed 
in the West from the Greeks down to the present. Jajjan^ 
i s, indeed, a country where hero worship is highly de- 
v eloped, but ry) litft""y man hsm gai ned the Olymp ian 
p osition which Dante. Shakespeare, and Goethe hoklj n 
thfl Wftflfc; npr A Vftn *h*.t whinh i q accor ded to lesser jojen 

Of ffgniiawftrb iia. PTnwpy^r, thftmnHprn development 



344 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

ualis m, will undoubtedly tend to give greater person al 
prominence to writers. 

While old class distinctions have nearly disappeared 
in Japan, newer social and professional contrasts have 
grown up which are quite as marked. <to> a ^^ywit prrh_ 
fessio ns have very fe y j"tf Artf * rf B a,^ mTT1An Thus, one 
may almost speak of a class of public men, a class of 
literary men, and a class of merchants, each living in its 
own world and having little contact with or interest in 
any of the others. It is n ot uncommon fr y ft piihliAnffioijj 

of high rank fr» a ^ n »h»h^ l^nnp^n^ *j w hfiT"nif 

literary mgn nf Jitp^p a^ft ^™>p; The latter, on their 
side, live in the world of imagination, and unless they 
are essayists like Toyabe, concern themselves but little 
in current affairs. The literary statesmanship of the 
West, of which Guizot, Gladstone, Balfour, and Roose- 
velt are ready examples, is unknown in Japan, and states- 
men will not even write their memoirs. There are, of 
course, some exceptions to this. Thus, while Count 
Okuma is not distinctly a literary man, his relations with 
the world of letters are intimate. Another exception lies 
in the connection between editorial work and political 
life, which has already been pointed out; an editor and 
publicist will necessarily interest himself in the political 
affairs of his country. 

Any consideration of the intellectual life of Japan 
would manifestly be incomplete were we not to include 
some reference to educational methods and results. 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 345 

While this is not the place to put forward a systematic 
account of Japanese educational institutions, we may at 
least endeavor to scan some of their general characteris- 
tics as they appear in the contemporary literature of 
Japan and in the qualities of the young men who have 
recently received their training. Superadded to the pro- 
blems with which our Western institutions are strug- 
gling, there exist in Japan the difficulties created by the 
adoption of many aspects of an alien culture. The cur- 
riculum of the schools is, therefore, overloaded wit h sub- 
jects, and such demands have to be made upon the as- 
similating capacity of the students that it is small wonder 
if their training in independent reasoning is often de- 
fective, and their intellectual culture superficial rather 
than inten sive~in qu ality 7 . As, m addition to their "own 
l angua ge and the exceedingly difficult Chinese, the 
Japanese high-school pupils have to study two foreign 
languages, it could hardly be expected that tEeyshoUld 
acqu ire more than a reading knowledge of the lat ter.' 

T he University o f Tokyo i s distinct ly an official in sti- 
tution. Notonlyareitefiyidfl4inmdedby4he-8tate, but 
the members of its faculties assist the Government as 
counse lors in the administration, oi public affairs. On 
the other hand, the Government, through the Depart- 
ment of Education, exercises a rather strict control over 
the university, which has often proven irksome to 
scholars. The relations of official administrative depart- 
ments to institutions of learning are nowhere free from 



346 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

difficulty, but official domination seems to have been 
especially obtrusive in Japan. Hearn, in his Letters, notes 
the presence of a great over-shadowing control and of 
many intercrossing influences. It seemed to him that 
the power within the university was little more than 
nominal, "that there was something nameless and invisi- 
ble without, something much stronger than the director 
or heads of colleges — a political influence, perhaps; 
certainly, a social influence. It seems to overawe the 
institution and its activities." Doctor Inouye, in com- 
plaining of this situation and in demanding greater 
independence, bewails the fact that learning in Japan has 
not yet reached the dignified position which it occupies 
in the West. Of late, in deed, there has be qg * ^ (jpn^y 
to aUow the uni versity groator freedom fr o m offic i al o mu 
J™!-. T° e d™<* connection nfj^iiTuvftmity with tV 
Government, however, also has its compensations, as it 
gives to university men in re +mn * rv " >a ^° f,Q HHnfliifnf > ft 
in public affairs. Some of the departments of the Gov- 
ernment are entirely admi nistered by university gradu- 
ates. The introduction by Prince Ito of the merit 
system in appointments has, of course, been a great help 
to graduates of the institution which was in a position 
to give the most adequate training. 
Amo ng the university courses, the technical s ubjects. 

such as law, mfldi<»inft T and fttiflineerjug, ftt.txA/*. mngf stu- 
dents. The fact that letters and philosophy have fewer 
votaries is r of course, largel y due tn tf ie f^ th*». gtu. 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 347 

en ts are anxious to prepare in a subject which promises 
them a life caree r. But aside from this, the definite con- 
elusions of technical knowledge seem to be more attrac- 
tive to the Japanese mind than the imponderable and 
spiritual considerations dealt with in literary and philo- 
sophical thought. The two great private institutions of 
Keio and Waseda, the former founded by Fukusawa, the 
latter by Count Okuma, efficiently supplement the work 
of the imperial universities, including, moreover, the 
lower stages of the educational process. Both of these 
universities have turned out a great number of inde- 
pendent and original writers and thinkers. As they 
have no connection with official life, they are inclined to 
greater independence in their treatment of public af- 
fairs. Waseda publishes an excellent literary journal, 
Waseda Bungaku, the critical standards of which are 
upon a European plane. 

There^h ave been a nu mber of_gX&t. educatoTMrho 
have left their personal impression strongly uponJ^pft n - 
e se tEough t. I n the first rank must be placed Fukuaaw a 

gh p w flB ft t ho u gh hfrliAVttr ™ ihn adnptinw nf Wnnte wi 

proce ss es and methods and who looked jgpgcialb^Jbo 
America for helpful models. French ideas of government 
and social polity were represented by Tokusuke Nakae, 
who has been called the Rousseau of Japan because of 
his able interpretation of the views of that writer. Among 
those who were guided by the more conservative ideas of 
the English, a prominent influenoe was exercised by 



848 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

Keiu Nakamura. Doctor Hiroyuki Kato, of the Im- 
perial University, used his great intellectual powers to 
spread German thought, and it is due largely to his lead- 
ership that German ideas have obtained so strong ahold 
in the Japanese universities. No account of educational 
influences would be complete without acknowledging 
the work performed by the men who, coming from the 
West as professors, teachers, and missionaries, brought 
directly, in their learning and character, the models which 
the Japanese at that time were eager to imitate. 1 

Thft flfoiHftnta in higW oHnpnfinn ft | jp gtitutions of the 

Government are selected from a large number of applic- 



ants. In a recent ye ar there were *»TOtfifin thffllgp 1"* 

graduates -Of middle schools who Hpairprl higher «*W*. 
tknal advantages. Of thftflft, qnjy tfor & thousand qo uld 

be admitted to the uniyeraities._Though the Govern- 
ment was for a while disinclined to increase the facilities 
for higher education, because there is already a severe 
competition among university graduates for positions 
guaranteeing a livelihood, yet at last it has been decided 
to create two other universities, so that a somewhat 
larger number of students might be accommodated. 
The competition among student s is relentless, and it 

*P K m Vf 1 * rolT^r^ fry frion^ly ^nr^^gpjflfiTlt Lithe 

1 Among those whose influence was most powerful are Doctor 
Verbeck, Doctor Brown, of Yokohama; Captain Janes, of Kuma- 
moto; and Mr. Clark, of Sapporo. They impressed their person- 
ality upon a large number of students who perpetuated the ideas 
of their teachers in their own action in important national affairs. 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 349 

middle schools the pupils work themselves to death in 
order to be able to pass the entrance examinations to the 
higher institutions; but once admitted there, other and 
still more severe tests of various kinds await them before 
they can hope to achieve a position for themselves in the 
world. They are, indeed, in need of a stoic temper, and 
many young men of more delicate fibre break down under 
this strain. Hearn, in his Letters, mentions many cases. 
"Some have gone mad," he says; "numbers have died; 
numbers have had to give up; the strain is too greatbe- 
cause the hardship is too great." In most cases students 
are obliged, on account of their lack of means, to do a 
great deal towards earning their own living and to prac- 
tice all kinds of economies. It is a splendid character- 
istic of the young men of Japan to whatever class of 
society they may belong, that they are willing to make 
great sacrifices of this kind in order to achieve their aims 
of self-improvement. We need only think of the numer- 
ous cases where Japanese of the highest endowment, men 
who later won great fame and reputation, earned their 
livelihood while studying in America, by performing 
menial work of all kinds. 

At t imes veri tfiblft gpidpmJAff ftf nuHripi hsvfi broken 
nut Amo ng the students, although o ther classes of the 
population are also not free from such attacks. As we 
have seen, suicide is not absolutely frowned upon in 
Japanese philosophy, and Doctor Kato himself has de- 
fended the self-destruction of soldiers who have been 



360 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

defeated in battle. At the conclusion of the last war there 
was a great deal of personal despair. After the tremend- 
ous strain of action and sacrifice, the achievement of 
the struggle and the glory of victory, there came a dis- 
heartening disillusionment when the nation had to take 
up its everyday life with the enormous burden of taxa- 
tion on its shoulders, and with the feeling that the 
concrete advantages gained through the war were incon- 
siderable. The competition of individualistic society has 
in it something terrible to the people of Japan, who still 
remember the easy-going, friendly ways of the feudal 
age, when every one was sure of his living and when the 
population did not yet press so seriously upon the means 
of subsistence. In the rush of modern life, with its harsh 
rivalries and discords, many natures are bewildered; not 
knowing how to maintain themselves, they finally capit- 
ulate. For a while, almost every week suicides were 
committed at the Kegon Waterfall, near Tokyo. A 
young student of philosophy, who killed himself there by 
leaping into the cataract, left the following words writ- 
ten upon a tree nearby: "Alas, how distant all things 
seem! How vast are the limits of the great universe! 
The petty being called man has at all times tried to com- 
prehend this immensity in vain. Of what value is philo- 
sophy? The real state of the universe remains incom- 
prehensible. Out of regret for this, in the anguish of my 
soul, I have at length resolved to die, and presently I 
shall discover that the depths of woe and the very High, 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 351 

est bliss may blend with each other." The police found it 
necessary, whenever a student proceeded alone to the 
neighborhood of the falls, to have him shadowed by a 
guard, and steps were taken to prevent inns of the neigh- 
borhood from giving accommodations to unaccompanied 
students. The priests of the shrine situated near the 
cataract posted up a placard in which they said that " to 
throw away precious lives is to defile the sacred moun- 
tain; it is an act of irreverence towards the gods, of dis- 
loyalty to the sovereign, and of disobedience to the 
parents." 

It is not surprising that in an age of great intellectual 
stress, of doubt and confusion, when Japanese minds are 
tortured by uncertainty, a great many matter-of-fact 
natures should seek refuge in a materialistic philosophy 
of life. The tendency of thought at present most popu- 
lar among Japanese students is that which is called 
naturalism, as it draws its inspiration from the literary 
movement of that name. The books of Gorky, Tur- 
genieff, and Maupassant are the gospel of this faith. It 
seeks intellectual satisfaction in denying the validity of 
anything that cannot be demonstrated; and demands for 
its votaries the privilege of seeing and experiencing all 
phases of life. On the side of conduct it therefore tends 
strongly toward the repudiation of all moral restraints, 
and sees veracity and worth only in "life living itself 
out." This tendency is not confined to Japan. Through- 
out the Orient there is current among the younger men 



352 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

a materialistic temper which does not bode well for the 
future of civilisation, unless the youthful energy which 
it represents can overcome the deadening and barbariz- 
ing influence of materialism and draw new inspiration 
from old ideals, remaining true to the old Oriental faith 
in the validity and power of spiritual forces. 

The present review of intellectual forces and tenden- 
cies in Japan can make no claim to completeness ; thus, for 
instance, the achievements in the physical and technical 
sciences have only briefly been referred to. It has been 
my purpose to give an impression of the variety of in- 
tellectual interests in Japan and of the temper with 
which the things of the spirit are viewed at the present 
time. In the future, the Japanese mind will undoubtedly 
still further excel in many directions, but the greatest de- 
velopment may be expected in those activities for which 
racial and social experience has best prepared the intel- 
lect. A strong but selective realism in literature, delic- 
ate word-painting, the successful search for mastery 
over the forces of nature, a grasp of social and political 
relationships — these are among the things we may ex- 
pect from the Japan of the future. At present all is still 
in the turmoil and uncertainty of a titanic struggle 
of opposing forces from which only gradually there is 
emerging the mind and spirit of modern Japan.' 



INTELLECTUAL LIFE IN JAPAN 353 
NOTE TO CHAPTER VII 

UADWW IN BCIBNTIFIC WORK 

Astromony: 

Terao, Hirayama. 
Botany: 

Matsumura, Miyoshi, Miyabe, Ikeno. 
Chemistry: 

Sakurai, Ikeda, Osaka, Shimose, Nagai, Takamine, Aiat- 
sui, Haga, Kuhara. 
Geology: 

Koto, Yokayama, Jimbo. 
History: 

Japanese history: Shigeno (died 1911), Hoshino, Kume, 
Mikami, Hagino, Uchida, Yamaji. 

Asiatic history: Shiratori, Naito, Tsuboi. 

Western history: Tsuboi, Gempachi, Mitsukuri (brother 
of Baron Kikuchi), Ukita. 
International law: 

Ariga, Takahashi, Terao, Tachi, Yamada. 
Law: 

Tomii, Nobushige Hozumi (elder, philosophy of law), 
Yatsuka Hozumi (younger, constitutional law), Miya- 
zaki, Ume (died 1910), Okada. 
Mathematics: 

Baron Kikuchi, Fujisawa, Takaki, Sakai. 
Medicine: 

Miyake, Aoyama, Osawa, Kure, Koganei, Ogata, Mhira, 
Kitasato, Sato. 
Philosophy: 

Baron Kato, Tetsujiro Inouye, Yujiro, Miyake, Kuwaki. 

Ethics: R. Nakajima. 

Psychology: Motora, M. Matsumoto. 

^Esthetics: Otsuka, Okakura. 



864 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

Philosophy of religion and Hindu philosophy: Takakusu, 
Anesaki, B. Matsumoto. 
Physics: 

Yamakawa, Tanakadate, Nagaoka, Ttaruda, Muraoka, 
Omori (seismology), Honda, Misuno. 
Political economy: 

Kanai, Viscount Tajiri, Baron Soeda, Amano, 
Sociology: 

Takebe, Endo. 
Zodlogy: 

Kakichi Mitsukuri (brother of Baron KDcuchi), Iijima, 
Watase, Ishikawa, Oka, Goto, Kishlgami. 
Novelists: 

Yuzo Tsubouchi (Shoyo), dramatist. 

Rintaro Mori (Ogwai), introducer of German literature. 

Futabatei Hasegawa, introducer of Russian literature. 

Rohan Koda, romanticist. 

Koyo Ozaki, realist. 

Doppo Eunikida, naturalist, translator of Russian novels. 

Kafu Nagai, introducer of French models. 

Soeeki Natsume, psychological novelist. 
Critics: 

Rinjiro Takayama. 

Takitaro Shimamura. 

Iichiro Tokutorni, editor, publicist 
Poets: 

Shiki Masaoka, Haikai expert. 

Toson Shimazaki, ShirUaishi expert (also novelist)* 

Bansui Doi, ShirUaishi expert 

Mrs. Akirako Yosano, Ufa expert. 

Eainan Mori, expert in Chinese poetry. 



CHAPTER Vin 

POLITICAL PARTIES AND PARLIAMENTARY GOVERNMENT 

IN JAPAN 

In the study of the relations and the mutual influence 
between the East and the West, the actual workings of 
institutions adopted by Oriental nations are worthy of 
special attention. Influence may be exerted bx one civil * 
isation upon another in. various, ways; there may be a 
more or less gradual modification of customs aad man- 
ners affecting dress and the general mode of life, such as 
we see among the wealthy Chinese at Singapore, who 
furnish their houses in European style and are fond of 
displaying fine horses and carriages; or econo mic life 
may be developed by the adoption of new industriaLpco- 
cesses and methods of organisation; again, changes in_ 
the legal system may be modeled upon individual laws 
evolvecTIn the' experience of another civilisation. But 
the boldest and most radical form of imitation is seen in 
the copying of complex institutions in their entirety, 
such as the organisation of an educational system, or, 
most striking instance of all, the parliamentary form of 
government. When an institution like the latter is bod- 
ily transplanted, the process is likely to expose the limit- 
ations of the influence which can thus be exercised by 



356 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

one civilisation on another. It is therefore with special 
intentness that we approach the study of the parlia- 
mentary system in Japan, knowing that the experience 
in government gained in this new field will yield valuable 
material for the scientific study of politics in general, and 
for an understanding of Oriental modes of thought and 
action. We shall therefore attempt to point out the 
principal phases in the development of modern Japanese 
politics and to indicate the present status of the enter-, 
prise of organising Japanese political life upon a Western 
basis. 

T he use of party Oirgftflfr**?™ 1 * n * te modern sens e 
originated in Count Itagaki's agitation f or a parliament 
in the late seventies. The movement was taken upjrom 
another point of view by Count Qlnima About these 
two men devoted followers grouped themselves; and 
though the personal element was thus predominant from 
the start, it was the aim of these leaders to create actu al 
and efficient politic al parties. The parties which the y 
originated never had much opportunity for confltnifttiyft 
action, being confined almost always to the opposition . 
Indeed, constructive government, as we shall see, has 
not been carried on upon the principle of party action in 
Japan. In addition to these original parties, gthfiL 
groups were from time to timeioxmai, whose cohesion 
was usually slight and of short duration. Such were 
Count Ito's original Constitutional-Imperial Party, the 
National Unionist Party founded by Saigo and Marquis 



PARTIES AND GOVERNMENT 357 

Yamagata, the Teiseito, the Yukokai, the Seiko Club, 
and the Daido Club. A more important political org an- 
ization w<m form^ fry M*"! 11 " Tf/ * in 1Qno r thft My 11 - 
kai. T he tw o orij^aaL parties, organiied ia-1888- and 
1881 respectively, were at first composed ea t i re l y -of 
personal followers^ of the tea prominent, reformers; 
being without much opportunity for the exercise of 
real political power, they were marked by a distinctly 
theoretical character. Count Itagaki's Liberal Party 
drew its inspiration chiefly from Rousseau and other 
French theorists, and only to a lesser extent from the 
English Liberals. Its watchwords were "freedom T *qqft!- 
ity, and conatifait.innal government," it believed in a 
broad basis for the suffrage, and in a legislature composed 
of one chamber, directly represen t ative of the people. 
Count O kuma's Progressive Party w as influenced rather 
by the English Liberal and Utilitarian school, as well as 
by English and American political experience. It em pha- 
sized internal reform and local self-government, and 
favored a bicameral parliament and the gradual exten- 
sion of the suffrage. 

During the ten years which elapsed between the defin- 
ite promise of a parliament and its actual installation in 
1891, these parties could of course carry on only a the- 
oretical propaganda looking to future action. When the 
time for the first election came, t^hey made a vigojpus 
canvass, with the result that, taken together, they con- 
trolled a majority of the first House of Representatives. 



w 



358 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 




The Government had adopted a rather neutral and 
almost disdainful attitude, in not making any direct, 
concerted efforts during the election; with the result 
that it found itself from the start without a majority in 
the lower chamber. As a matter of fact the powers 
which had been apportioned to the lower house in Count 
Ito's Constitution were by no means controlling, and 
the Government undoubtedly felt that its action could 
not be seriously embarrassed unless opposition should 
be very obstinate and long-continued. Imthe 
system^ the Chamber is c hecto 
/ House of. Peers, the majoril 

noblemen* the rest being no minoo s o f the Government * 

^ P finftnniftl.pnwPffl ft f fop Tfiet are ftnnfiiwl f p f.h<> y tf- 

ingof new taxes and of the budget pr epared by the Min - 
istry of Finance. Should any budget not meet with the 
approval of the Diet, the preceding estimates will re- 
main in force for another fiscal year. T he Emper or, 
through the Government, exercises t fre powpr nf Uto^ 

tion of the military and navaLforces. 

While it might, therefore, well have seemed to the 
elder statesmen that a body of such limited powers oould 
be easily handled, the troubles which began as soon as 
the Diet opened indicated that the intractableness of 
the Chamber would probably be proportioned to its lack 
of real power. The candidates who had sought election 
to the House in the opposition parties were frequently 



PARTIES AND GOVERNMENT 369 

men who had been disappointed in their political ambi- 
tions by the close corporation of Satcho leaders l who 
were in control of the Government. Young men, excluded 
from every prospect of political advancement by the 
policy of confining lucrative appointments to the mem- 
bers of the clans to which these leaders belonged, were 
violent in their attacks upon such favoritism. The 
Chamber exhausted itself and the Government in bitter 
party attacks; it became impossible to advance any leg- 
islation, and the first Diet was dissolved af ter an exist- 
ence of a little over a yev- 

A turbulent campaign followed. Forcible and insin- 
uating arguments were put forward in appeals to every 
kind of human motive, high or low. Candidates even 
went so far as to enlist the services of «^t,_or jjrgfes- 
sional ruffians, for the, purpose of intimidating &eir 
opponents. The Government, through an ordinance for 
preserving the peace, subjected the liberty of meeting 
and of speech to the strictest regulation. TJjbe newly 
elected ChambeaLwas^ Jtowever, in no way more man- 
ageable than the first. Its continued refusal to vote the 
necessary funds caused the Emperor to have recourse to 
his power over the civil service. In a rescript he called 
upon all public employees to give one tenth of their an- 
nual salaries for the purpose of assisting the State in the 
creation of an adequate armament. Other sessions and 
elections followed in quick succession until the wave of 

1 Members of the two leading clans, Satsuma and Choahu. 



360 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

patriotic feeling engendered by the Chino-Japaneae 
war caused a temporary armistice in party struggles. 

But the controversy between Opposition and Gove rn- 
ment was taken up with redoubled energy, when the 
modification of the Treaty of ShimonpgeJto-ifiCaine 
known, through which Port Arthur. waa.JakenL_£cQia 
Japan. The most violent scenes were witnessed inthe 
Diet. The Premier, Marquis I to, was in imminent dan- 
ger of assassination by men of the people whose mind had 
become inflamed by the bitterness of the conflict. As the 
parliamentary opposition threatened to thwart every 
effort at new financial legislation, the Government 
finally saw itself forced to seek reconciliation with some 
of the opposition leaders. Count T+ *g*1q w as therefore 
invited to join the. ItgjQ&binfit. With flie aiH nf frfe 
influence the budget was doubled and overoneJuindred 
and twenty important, much-needed laws weye pjuwH 
through the lower house. As a price for h is support . 
Itagaki had insisted upon the acceptance of lnwa-guar- 
an teeing the liberty of the press and nfler rting tftfi rfifipn nft - 
ibility of Ministers to the Diet. The latter principle was 
the centre of the political battles of those years, as in 
fact it still remains. The opposition parties claimed that 



constitutional government is nnihinlrohlg w^|> lftll | | j^ 
sponsibility of the Cabinet to the PAr1i>ry|ei7t ftT H the 
people. The Government, however, insisted that the 
ministers, being the servants of the rc™ppror, arp re- 
sponsible solfil£jtohim^ and while of course it also recog- 



PARTIES AND GOVERNMENT 361 

nized their responsibility to the nation as a whole, it 
would not admit the right and power of the lower house 
to turn them out of office through a vote of lack of confid- 
ence. With rpnp^K to thp fihuvp propnnalfl nf togifrtatifm 
a very shrewd use was made of the House of Peers. This 
conservative body readily adopted all the measures wel- 
come to the Government, but rejected the two bills espe- 
cially advocated by the Liberal Party. The defection of 
support in the House of Representatives which resulted 
upon this action, brought about the resignation of Mar- 
quis Ito and the formation of a new cabinet. His place 
was taken by Count Matsukata, another of the Genro, 
or elder statesmen, who associated with himself Count 
Okuma, the leader of the Progressive Party. Through 
a lavish use of the patronage this cabinet was enabled to 
hold office for sixteen months. 

But this method of using one or the other of the appo- 
sition leaders . soon proved a temporary makeshift. 
The Government was unable to satisfy the demands of 
the personal following of its new associates, while the 
limited recognition of opposition leaders only whetted 
the appetite of others and gave greater vigor to their 
attacks upon the Government. For these reasons, after 
Marquis Ito had again. hekLoffice for & few mo nths, he 
determined upona bold stroke. He resigned and advised 
the Emperor to appoint a party cabinet compoeedoflhe 
leaders of the opposition, in order that they might try 
their mettle in actual administration. A combination 



362 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

was accordingly farmH_hf tw^ n tV **"* Tp^tVii par- 

Kensei-to. Great was the rejoicing among enthusiasts 
for parliamentary government, for the struggle for party 
recognition and ministerial responsibility seemed to have 
come to a successful ending, iw aigna e%t ^^ un ^in- 
agreement between the t wo sections were not slow in 
revealing themselves* On important matters of policy, 
such as the purchase of railways and the extent of the 
armament, the leaders were by no means at one. - JSut 
this divergence was ™^^ f«»«i +<* »im m****^ gf thr nor 
cabinet as was the "nffifMr-himting hvw" which hj<i 
seized upon the minor pniitiniaM on long ftralndftfl fr^m 
the spoils. Notwithstanding numerous removals, it was 
impossible to satisfy a tithe of the applicants, and the 
various factions soon became openly hostile in this strug- 
gle over the distribution of offices. The embarr assmen ts 
of the Cabinet were increased Ky fhft fftffW ^ ^'gnatim 

Of ^ifoll" w ^^! * n Q p nM ^ *iWrc*a t h*A Ktum ITldlflfirfi^t 

enough to admit the possibility of -fop*™ hping ^ rfiPU K1,A 
in a thousand years. Four short months sufficed to 
prove the impossibility of cooperation and to. justifytiie 
shrewdness of Marquis Ito'sxounsel. Th^ir nppr> nf!n f fl 

now beiQg. thnmnghly rHaPTwHWl, tfo? f|dp* 0+0+^*^^1 

could form a cabinet composed entirel y of their a gy^ 
ciates and followers. Marquis Yamagata became Prime 
Minister, and his principal colleagues were Counts Mat- 
sukata and Saigo, Viscounts Eatsura and Aoki, and 



PARTIES AND GOVERNMENT 363 

Admiral Yamamoto. This cabinet, was, however, not 
free from the necessity of conciliating members of the 
Diet through an extensive use of public patronage and 
through other more or less corrupting influences, which 
earned for its head the sobriquet of "the modern Wal- 
pole." Among the measures of _the Government jat this 
time was a law raising, the jsalaryof members ot theJDiet 
from eight hundred to two thousand yen — an increase 
not out of proportion to the advancing cost of living, 
which was, however, looked upon as somewhat of a 
douceur. 

The year 1900 brought an exceedingly important ad- 
vance in the development iLJ)^mnese- parties. Marquis 
Ito had come to Jealizalhat thfe Government coulcj oot 
go on in the old way, neglecting legitimate party organi- 
zation and confining its efforts to sporadic alliances 
which tended to corrupt public action. He now hims elf 
descended into the political arena, and with a loud flour- 
ish of trumpets announced the formation of an ideal 
political party, summoning all good men to rally to his 
banner. The new party was given the name Seiyukai 
(friends of the Constitution). It comprised the majority 
of the old Liberal Party, — which was dissolved at the 
same time, Count Itagaki having retired from political 
life, — as well as a number of deputies who had formerly 
been without party affiliations. While Marquis Ito had 
come to the conclusion that public opinion should be 
organized so as to become responsible and to be of assist- 



364 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 



ance in the conduct of public affairs, he by no means 
intended through the movement thus inaugurated to 
bring about actual party government and ministerial 
responsibility. This is apparent from a speech which he 
delivered at the time of the foundation of the Seiyukai. 
In this address he stated that the appointment or dis- 
missal of cabinet ministers appertains to the preroga- 
tives of the Sovereign, who therefore has complete free- 
dom to select his advisers as he may deem proper, from 
statesmen within or outside of the organised parties. 
Moreover, Marquis Ito asserted that when once minis- 
/, ters had taken office, it was not permissible for their 
political associates to interfere with the discharge of 
official duties, from the point of view of party advantage 
or party control. Hedeclared this to be the fundamental 
principle of Japanese statesmanship. A correct interpret- 
ation of Marquis Ito's action in forming a party must 
take into account this declaration, which is borne out 
by his subsequent action. The "old states man" had n ot 

been converted to the Liberal principl^Ql^hinelj^22?" 
sibility ; but he had come to see that the almos t anarc hical 
state of public opinion was detrimental, and that the 
party system must be reorganised from the p oint of 
view of the Government itself. In his opinion the party 
was not to be an instrument for the control of the Gov- 
ernment, but rather a means through which the Govern- 
ment might exercise a steadying influence over public 
opinion. Agreement of opinion upon general principles 



PARTIES AND GOVERNMENT 365 

\ya a what he rrl irfl on among the momhorn of hifl «ew 
party, — rather than the impulse to set up party con- 
(roL The declaration of party principles which he 
caused to be issued on this occasion is therefore com- 
posed of rather vague generalizations with regard to 
properly conducting the affairs of state, advancing the 
prosperity of the country, and securing the harmonious 
working of administrative machinery. 

As a result of thi s work in political organization, Mar- 
quklto was in October, 1900, again int.matedjgjth the 
duty of forming a cabinet. Notwithstanding the pla- 
tonic character of his partisanship, the House of Peers 
showed itself so much opposed to the very idea of party 
that it threatened to kill all legislation attempte d by the 
Seiyukai; Marquis I to had to seek aid by securing an 
imperial rescript which put the peers in a more concil- 
iatory frame of mind. The cabinet was a strong one, 
including such names as Eato, Suyematsu, Watanabe, 
Kodama, Eaneko, and Hayashi. B ut latent intfir 11 * 1 
dissensions soon dfcYelopeiinta serious obstacles. Vis- 
count Watanabe, Minister of Finance, disagreed with 
the Premier on the matter of financial legislation, being 
himself in favor of strict retrenchment. The I to Cab- 
inet, therefore, came to an early end, in 1901 • It was suc- 
ceeded by a cabinet under the influence of the most con- 
servative elements, especially of Marquis Yamagata. 
Count Eatsura was made Prime Minister and all his 
associates were peers. 



366 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

With both the Seiyukai and .the ^Prggreasi ve Party 
usually in opposition, a temporary alliance having been 
effected through circumstances, the Cabinet co uld not 
secure sufficient support in the House of Representa- 
tives. The sessions of the latter were short and stormy, 
and both in 1902 and 1903 the Chamber refused to vote 
the budget prepared by the Ministry. The latter was 
therefore forced to continue its financial administration 
under the budget for 1902, which had been fixed by a 
preceding Diet. While thus attempting to cut off the 
Government from supplies, the opposition engaged in 
the most irrational criticism of the supposed dilatoriness 
of the Ministry in foreign affairs; though refusing to 
vote the budget, they demanded a strong foreign policy, 
even to war with Russia, if that should prove necessary. 
This inconnintrnt a ttitud e illustr a t e tho irrmp aii r c i hility 
of Japanese parties; their aim at the time aeetnfid-lo be 
rather to embarrass the Cabinet than to pursue a GQjn- 
plete and consistent policy. Marquis I to, leader of the 
Seiyukai, threw his influence in favor of the Govern- 
ment, but in 1903 he apparently realised the impossibility 
of controlling his followers and giving adequate sup- 
port to the Cabinet; he accordingly resigned the formal 
leadership and became President of the Privy Council, 
while the former president, Marquis Saiyonji, a mem- 
ber of the Kyoto court nobility, took his place as leader 
of the Seiyukai. 

The parliamentary opposiiionlo the Government cul- 



PARTIES AND GOVERNMENT 367 

minated in 1903 in a «*»«"™ ^Jtifih I****** ™^y +™ days. 
The session of the Diet 19 customarily opened by an ad- 
dress from the throne, to which a formal answer ia made 
by eaob bouse. This answer, in the lower house, is usu- 
ally prepared by the Speaker in consultation with some 
of the leaders. When on December 10, 19034 the imper- 
ial address had been read, the Speaker of the time, Mr. 
Kono, drew from his pocket, and proceeded to read, an 
answer which he himself had prepared. The members did 
not realize the personal and irregular nature of this act, 
and although the answer contained a strong condemn- 
ation of the Government, amounting to a vote of lack of 
confidence, it was passed by the combined votes of the 
SoiyukaLand the Pro»rfi^Ye_Pju£k - The action of the 
Speaker was irregular in several respects. To makethe 
anaw^r fr> thfi aridrfim of thf .fov? Hgn the vehicle of po- 
Mtiififtl *p™*wip wftH iinpiyH°^ f Hj as it is a principle of 
Japanese decorum that the Sovereign is to be left entirely 
out of the political disputes of the day, Mpreover r tf n 
Sprnkrr had thus far not iiafri hifl ft ffice a s an instrument 
of party «*+m n , he had rather confined himself to the 
functions of an impartial moderator. The present 
Speaker, through his coup, put the opposition parties in 
an uncomfortable position. They had voted upon what 
they had distinctly heard, and they could therefore not 
without embarrassment reconsider the vote. A hasty 
vote of this kind, however, would not tend to increase 
their influence with the country, and would of course lead 



368 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

to an immediate dissolution of the Chamber, which was, 
in fact, announced on the next day. 

The opening of hostilities against Rnmia -had the 
natural effect of ending all party opposition for the time. 
The Peace of Portsmouth, being at first unpopular , cau&d 
a renewal of attacks on the Cabinet, whioh wnafconod ao 
the complex character of the situation became better, 
known. In January, 1906, it was considered advioable 
to have the Katsura Ministry, which had enjoyed the 
longest tenure since the creation of the Diet, withdraw in 
favor of a cabinet a little more representative of the 
parties in parliament. The formation of this cabinet 
was intrusted to Marquis Saionji. This act was hailed 
as a victory of the Seiyukai and of the principle of party 
government — an unwarranted opinion, as it was dis- 
tinctly understood at the time that Marquis Saionji had 
been invited as an individual statesman, not as a party 
leader, and that he would carry on the policies of his pre- 
decessors. It was expected that he would be able to 
count on the support of the Seiyukai, to which was added 
that of the Daido Club, an informal organization of pro- 
government representatives, under the virtual control of 
Count Katsura. The influence of the Yamagata element 
was indicated by the admission of three associates of 
Count Katsura to the new ministry, while General Ter- 
auchi continued as Minister of War. Thift cabinet, wh ich 
was hailed as a party ministry, whileit made certain con- 
y cessions to the composition of parties in the lower-house, 



PARTIES AND GOVERNMENT 369 

waaatm primarily baaed upon the non-part man principle 
otgovernment. It differs from the Katsura Cabinet in 
being more representative, but it could not be said to be 
responsible to the larger party in the Diet nor identified 
with it in leadership and principles. The opposition was, 
after 1906, made up of the Progressive Party, the Seiko 
Club, and independent members. The Saionji Ministry 
had the promise of fair sailing. It had reconciled the prin- 
cipal party in the House, as well as the conservatives and 
peers, who look to Marquis Yamagata for leadership. 
But its path after all proved to be not free from difficul- 
ties. The conservatives continued to look with suspicion 
upon the party connections of ministers and they were 
evidently resolved to avoid any action which might 
countenance the principle of party power. 

The political changes in the last three years have in- 
volved some significant developments. A general par- 
liamentary election was held in Mayj 1908. In the cam- 
paign the Seiyukai jnade every effort t o over come the 
general unpopularity incurred through th e Gov ernment's 
policy in maintaining the high war taxes. T^e party 
was successful, and for the first time in the history of the 
Japanese Diet a angle party haJ the absolute majority 
in the House. But though the presence of a compact 
body of one hundred and ninety-two members would 
seem to give assurance of continued political power, 
within a few weeks after the election the Seiyukai Cab- 
inet resigned. As a reason for this surprising step the 



370 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 



'rime Minister 



inal ill health; a deeper 



cause, however, must be sought in the opposition to the 
principle of party government which was still strongly 
held by the House of Peers. Th^n^ingf, H^n g fa H^J 

with extremely difficult problems of finance and admin- 
istration, could not hope to succeed i* Hp ^^ ^ffiy 
blocked at every point by the u pp e r hou se. A new 
cabinet wo o formed by Marquin TTulniirnj whose relation 
with Prince Yamagata and with the House of Peers gave 
him a strong hold on all the branches of government. He 
was, however, confronted by a situation in the lower 
house which made a certain amount of compromise in- 
evitable; so, while not formally recognising the Seiyukai 
as part of the Government, the new Premier sought to 
cultivate close relationships with it and to win its sup- 
port for his measures. A« ^lljfflff wag ftiiiQ K^ii^^k;^ 
gradually gained in strength ftH whi#>h /^n^t^fr^ ^ 
most significant feature of the present situation. 

Several minor parties had come into existence ^ this.- 
time. The Yushinkai, or Reform Party, was oomposodof 
men who directed their efforts against corrupt methods 
in party politics and who opposed the continuance of war 
taxation. They counted forty-five members in the new 
Diet. Representatives of the industrial nnd fflmmersml 
classes, who now, on account of the new basis of taxa- 
tion, are more strongly represented in parliament than 
in former years, organised the Boshin Club, which is 
usually spoken of in English as the " Commercial Club." 



PARTIES AND GOVERNMENT 371 

This faction comprised forty-two members. The old 
Progressive Party had a strength of sixty-six. 

Tke_j2olicy_of friendly neutrality, assumed by the 
Seiyukai continued throughout the session which epded 
in March, 1910. This attitude of the controlling party 
allowed the Government to carry its budget and other 
administration measures without difficulty. The some- 
what irresolute and ambiguous position of the leading 
party, however, led to a great deal of unrest and shifting 
among the other groups, who seemed to feel that the Sei- 
yukai had no distinct policy and could, therefore, success- 
fully be broken up, if a strong, united party were formed 

in opposition to it. Finely, in \fftrf»h J 1Qin f ftnffflr party 

was organized bearing the name of " nnn«tit.iitinn*1 Na- 
tionalists" and uniting under its j^mtrol ninety-two 
members of the Diet. The core of this organization con? 
sists of the old Progressives! who came over almost in a 
body; other elements are drawn from the Yushinkai and 
the Commercial Club. At the time when this combina- 
tion was being organized, the Daido Club expanded by 
incorporating a majority of the commercial members, 
together with some independents; it is now known as the 
Chuo, or Central Club. 

When the Diet opened again in December, 1910, the 
Seiyukai still had two hundred and five members, an 
absolute majority of thirty-six. Yet there was consider- 
able unrest within the party itself , and it was beginning 
to be attacked, not only from without, but from within. 



372 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

In order to avoid having the whole parliamentary situa- 
tion thrown into confusion, Marqutf.Katsura now came 
out openly and invited the Seiyukai to a aow definite 
alliance. At the formal banquet at which this new alli- 
ance between government and party was announced and 
received its sanction, Marquis Katsura expressed his ad- 
miration for the moderation and the resolute attitude 
of the Seiyukai and his appreciation of their valuable 
aid in the past. " In a time calling earnestly for admin- 
istrative reform and for measures calculated to main- 
tain the peace of the East, there should be complete 
unanimity in striving for the nation's benefit." His sent- 
iments were reciprocated in the speech of Marquis 
Saionji, who expressed the hope that by codperation be- 
tween his party and the Government the final success of 
constitutional institutions might be achieved. The in- 
terpretation given to this action in contemporary discus- 
sion was agreed in acknowledging the significance of the 
change of attitude in Marquis Katsura and his group, 
who had hitherto strenuously opposed the idea of party 
government. But while some publicists viewed the 
action as dictated merely by the necessities of the mo- 
ment, others saw in it a step as important as that taken 
by Marquis Ito, when, in 1900, he descended into the 
field of party politics and organized the Seiyukai. The 
action of Marquis Katsura flmned tn iHWato that tho 
attitude of the House of Peers and of the elder st atesmen 
had become more favorable to the idea of .party xoatcal; 



PARTIES AND GOVERNMENT 373 

at last they a ppeared to have rec ognised that legislative 
anarchy could be. avoided only hy onnoumging the 
growth of permanent, responsible party groupings. The 
restrained and helpful attitude of the Seiyukai, even 
when it represented the Cabinet, had gained the respect 
of the upper house. It would undoubtedly be premature 
to see in this step the definitive establishment of govern- 
ment by party, centred in the lower house. The focus of 

gr^yoiniTYioT^ jfl flfj 11 fll ° ftdminiatrati/m fYHltroHpd by the 

Privy Council. But the leaders in Japanese government 
are evidently willing to give more heed to matured public 
opinion expressing itself in organized parties within the 
Diet. No immediate cabinet changes followed upon the 
announcement of the new alliance, although early in 
March, 1911, the Cabinet, as well as the Seiyukai, were 
greatly agitated by a controversy concerning school- 
readers. It throws light upon the political sentiments of 
Japan to know that a statement contained in a school- 
book, concerning the legitimacy of the northern and 
southern courts in Japan six hundred years ago, could 
for awhile become the most momentous political ques- 
tion by which even portfolios in the Cabinet were 
endangered. 

During the entire period of government under the 
Constitution, the opposition parties have made it a prac- 
tice to urge and press the Government to pursue a strong 
foreign policy. In appealing to the patriotism of the na- 
tion, they attempted to gain a double advantage, on the 



374 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

one hand, embarrassing the Government in the conduct 
of affairs, on the other, standingbelQre thfc people as the 
watchful guardians of national rights. But such a posi- 
tion assumed by parties in opposition, who are avowedly 
struggling for the principle of ministerial responsibility, 
carries with it manifest dangers to the accomplishment 
of their main purpose. If the people are encouraged to 
demand what is called a strong foreign policy, If their 
attention is concentrated on foreign affairs, the field 
wherein party influence may normally and consistently 
be exercised is of necessity neglected. A warlike policy 
always strengthens the executive at 'the expense of the 
legislative branch, because it demands secret counsel and 
quick action. The English parties, which have been the 
model for party life in Japan as well as elsewhere, have 
generally abstained from carrying the political struggle 
into the domain of foreign affairs. Unless parties can find 
a sufficient basis for action in domestic matters, they 
may be said to have confessed a failure to realise the 
possibilities and limitations of party action. 

During the difficulties occasioned by the San Fran- 
cisco school situation, the Progressive Party assumed 
the position that the Japanese Government was dilatory 
in safeguarding the interests of the Japanese abroad. 
The standing committee of this party has repeatedly is- 
sued manifestoes criticizing the Cabinet for its supposed 
lack of vigor. This attitude was imposed upon the party 
by its more extreme wing led by Mr. Oishi; the moderate 



PARTIES AND GOVERNMENT 373 

section seemed to realize the danger of introducing party 
criticism into the domain of foreign affairs during such a 
delicate situation. The responsibility for this action of the 
Progressives must, however, also be shared by Count 
Okuma, who took a very strong position in this matter, 
though he was more logical than his followers in facing 
the consequences of an assertive foreign policy upon 
national finance. His views were reflected in the Hochx 
Shimbun, the leading Progressive journal, which, how- 
ever, took an unduly alarmist view of the situation. The 
Daido Club played a somewhat temporizing part in this 
matter. Its manifestoes dealt in general phrases counsel- 
ing patience, but in the same breath criticizing the dila- 
tory policy of the Government. It is interesting to note 
that, even during the recesses of the Diet, parties con- 
tinue to act formally on political matters through their 
general committees, which meet at Tokyo for discussion 
and issue manifestoes as occasion demands. 

The Progressive, now t^n^rrnpiri intathif f!flMt{fi1 - 
tional Nationalist Party, has, of all political organiza- 
tions in Japan, shown most permanence and cohesion. 
This has been due to the genial leadership and powerful 
personality of Count Okuma. Although in office for less 
than two years during his whole parliamentary career, 
he succeeded in inspiring his followers with such per- 
sonal devotion that they continued their exertions in 
political life in the face of great discouragements and 
without hope of immediate reward. But dissensions 



876 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

which had arisen in the party took on a somewhat serious 
aspect at the beginning of 1907. They were largely per- 
sonal in nature, being occasioned by the ambitions of 
two younger leaders, Messrs. Oishi and Inukai; but 
questions of decentralization, of military policy, and of 
financial retrenchment were also involved. It was 
finally decided in the council of the party that Count 
Okuma should resign from the party leadership, and 
action in that sense was taken. The Count looked upon 
the matter in a most impartial and modest way, and 
declared it desirable that a more active and vigorous pro- 
paganda should be carried on under the direction of 
younger men. He assured his followers that, while form- 
ally retiring, he would always continue heart and soul 
in the work of the Progressive Party. 

The retirement of Count Okuma was cited as a fur- 
ther proof of the hopeless outlook of party government 
in Japan. Many of his followers had undoubtedly be- 
come impatient with long waiting, and pinned their hope 
to a change in leadership, though it is difficult to see how 
another leader can succeed in doing more for them than 
Count Okuma accomplished. A man of great political 
insight and experience, he always strove to give dignity 
and responsibility to the action of his party. It seemed 
to him worth while that there should be a centre for pro- 
gressive opinion, even if the succession to actual political 
power should be indefinitely delayed. As a statesman he 
always showed a strong grasp of political problems in 



PARTIES AND GOVERNMENT 377 

their organic relations. He was, therefore, never a radi- 
cal like Itagaki, nor did he ever push a single policy with- 
out considering its relation to other branches of political 
life. His resignation was avowedly brought about be- 
cause he insisted that it was not advisable. to favor 
great increase in the armament without thoroughly re- 
constructing the financial system of the country. Like his 
great rival, Prince Ito, he has served his country by 
bringing it to a consciousness of what is meant by public 
policy. He will for a long time remain a living force, and 
if Japan is to hold the place she has gained and harmoni- 
ously to develop her national life, his counsels will have 
to be taken into account by the nation and its leaders. 

The great statesman who, throughout the last three 
decades up to the time of his death, exercised altogether 
the most constant and pervading influence in the govern- 
ment of the Japanese nation and in its political life, was 
also one of those men whose characters profoundly im- 
press the imagination of their contemporaries. It will be 
interesting to see how Prince Ito was judged by his most 
prominent rival and competitor for ascendency over 
Japanese public opinion. Count Okuma has written of 
him as follows: l — 

"As a politician Prince Ito was certainly a very great 
man, and to me it always appeared that his greatness 
was attributable to two mental qualities that he pos- 
sessed. One was the most remarkable versatility, the 
i Translated In the Japan Weekly Mail. 



378 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 



,v:f*»r. 



other was a conciliatory spirit. Successful fita 
depends on a minute knowledge of all that affects the 
people governed, of all that might render any proposed 
policy a success or a failure; armaments, diplomacy, 
finance, education, religion, popular feelings, customs, 
— a statesman should study them all. And this the late 
Prince did. His minute acquaintance with the details of 
so many different subjects rendered him in most cases 
a safe guide. Statesmen like Prince Ito are very rare in 
this country to-day . We have a good many brilliant pol- 
iticians in our midst, but their range of vision is very 
limited; they do not take in the whole field; they are mere 
specialists and they lack common sense. P rince I to's 
conciliatory spirit was one of the most useful as well as 
the most beautiful traits of his character. Numerous 
indeed are the conflicting elements in politics. The men 
out of power are always attempting to pick holes in the 
policy of those who hold the reins of government. Those 
in power are too often anxious to escape responsibility 
and to put the blame of their maladministration on 
others. Then there is the element of personal ambition 
which is never absent from politics and which often helps 
on good government, because, in order to shine, men 
have to avoid making mistakes. With all the influences 
that tend to divide politicians, the presence of a man like 
the late Prince Ito to smooth over differences, to pour 
oil on the troubled waters, contributed greatly to that 
peaceful cooperation for the attainment of great ends 



PARTIES AND GOVERNMENT 379 

which has so often been witnessed in this country during 
the past few decades. Though Prince Ito when in power 
had sufficient personal ambition to make him try his best 
to make a success of his administration, his devotion to 
the state was such that he was always ready to give place 
to others when circumstances seemed to indicate that 
this was the wisest course to follow." l 

1 A most interesting comparison of the characters of Ito and 
Okuma has been made by Mr. Setsurei Miyake (translated in the 
Japan Weekly Mail). "Both these statesmen have labored hard 
to plant constitutional government in the country. Which of the 
principles for which they contended will win, it is perhaps too 
early to determine. But a comparison of the two men may prove 
of interest. In physical strength and health they were about the 
same. They often drank sake together, and Count Okuma on 
these occasions was able to stand more liquor than the Prince. In 
activity and in spirit they were alike. They both possessed an 
enormous amount of practical wisdom, and the capacity of each 
for imbibing new knowledge was about equal. The Prince often 
went abroad, but Count Okuma has remained at home. The 
Prince was a great reader of Chinese and English original work 
but the Count's clear ideas on numbers of subjects have all been 
acquired by studying translations. At the age of seventy, the 
Prince was a match in argument for men in their prime, and the 
Count is still this, though over seventy. Their minds taken as a 
whole were much alike, and which was the stronger of the two it is 
difficult to determine. In the practical uses to which he put his 
knowledge, the Count went beyond the Prince, but the Prince 
was more wary and laid his plans in such a way that his opponents 
could not take him at a disadvantage. They both understood 
learned subjects as well as men who are known as scholars, but 
neither of them had the ways of academicians. In analytic 
power the minds of both were deficient, it was in perceptive 
power that they so excelled. In moral character they resembled 
each other more than most people suppose. In money mattere the 
Count has been considered to be a hoarder, a man who liked 



380 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

It is apparent that the party system has not fully 
been tried as yet in Japan, as parties have not been called 
upon to carry out a constructive policy for any length of 
time. Constructive political action has been in the hands 
of the elder statesmen of the Government. This situa- 
tion of itself has tended to render party action irrespons- 
ible, and to reduce party principles to mere generalities. 
The latter result has also been favored by the desire on 
the part of opposition parties to ally themselves with 
other factions for the purpose of securing greater influ- 
ence. A policy specific in detail would stand in the way 

money for its own sake, and the Prince's indifference to money 
has been paraded before the public as though it were a virtue. 
This kind of criticism is all very shallow. The Count has un- 
doubtedly accumulated money from time to time, but it has been 
with the object of spending it on good causes. Want of sufficient 
means has been and probably is to-day the one cause of his inac- 
tivity in certain directions. Additions to his income have always 
meant the development of new enterprises with Count Okuma. If 
he saves, he saves to spend. Turning to Prince Ito, if he was, as 
people represent, indifferent to money, it was because he could 
afford to be indifferent to it, knowing where to go for as much as 
he required. In any enterprises that he wished to carry out, he 
never wanted for money. To say that he was not avaricious 
simply means that he had no desire to lay up large sums of money 
for himself or even for his family. But the same thing can be said 
of Count Okuma. As regards the conduct of the two statesmen, 
one has to remember the characteristics of the age in which they 
were brought up and the habits of the men with whom they asso- 
ciated throughout their lives. In whatever dissipation the late 
Prince indulged, it never interfered with the arduous duties he 
performed. The hours he spent in sleep were few, and though con- 
stantly in the company of women, he never allowed them to 
occupy time that was not his own to give." 



PARTIES AND GOVERNMENT 381 

of such alliances, and has therefore generally been 
avoided. The persistent prosecution of certain definite 
political ends expressed in specific principles has not 
characterized Japanese parties. They have rather been 
personal fallowings of important leaders, like Count 
Itagaki or Count Okuma, or they have been brought 
together temporarily by the hunger for political spoils. 
Much inconsistency is also found ; prominent men change 
their affiliations in an unexplained manner, and leaders 
are deserted without much consideration. 

But we must look at the institutions through and in 
which parties are active in order to understand their 
limitations. The Diet itself is an institution superficially ? 

grafted upon the Japanese body politic. Its tenure has 
been most uncertain. Counting the general election of 
1908, there have taken place nine elections in eighteen 
years, only two of which were regular elections following 
the expiration of the full term of four years. Many of the 
sessions of the Diet have lasted for only a few weeks or 
even days. The conditions of the franchise a re suc h that 
only sixteen out of every thousand inhabitants are en- 
titled to vote, the entire electorate numbering 757,000. 

The financial powers of th^ piet are very qfc(a^anrifred. 

In the most recent sessions there has been little debate 
upon the budget. Thus, the budget of 1906, carrying ap- 
propriations of 600,000,000 yen, was voted after a dis- 
cussion of three hours. As a matter of fact, the real work 
of the House is done in its committees. The Budget 



382 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

Commission, composed of sixty members representing 
all factions, carefully goes over the financial legislation 
and discusses it with members of the Ministry of 
Finance. When the balance of parties is favorable, the 
action of the Commission practically disposes of the 
matter. 

Dufin£_the first years of fo» mattm** +.h» H^ify ~f 
Representatives promised to become a great forum far 
debate. Brilliant speakers like Takanashi Teteushiro, 
Inouye Eakugoro, Osake Yukio, and Shimada Saburo, 
won national prominence by their oratorical talents. 
But when the ^m\ i jmpot^ ffi of fl^ TTaii«a twt>mp Q p. 

parent, a blight fell upon oratorical effort and the ros- 
trum was more and more deserted. Matters were settled 
in the committees and in the lobbies, and every other 
kind of influence seemed to be more powerful than 
rational persuasion. Charges of corruption are very fre- 
quent. They have at times been admitted by individual 
members with cynical effrontery, and Count Okuma has 
repeatedly bewailed the corruption in the constituencies, 
which recalls the Walpolian era in England. Notwith-^ 
standing such discouraging conditions, a certain ad- 
vance seems to have been made through the education 
of public opinion in matters of government; but this 
advance is beset on all sides by dangers created throu gh 
misunderstanding and hostile feeling. 

The House of Representatives is, however, not alone 
to be considered. It is associated with the House of Peers, 



PARTIES AND GOVERNMENT 383 

a thrtranffhly fioi^firvRtivp fnrrw The majority of the 
nobility itself are strongly adverse to party government, 
nor is a different opinion held by the imperial nominees 
and the great taxpayers, who make up the rest of the 
upper chamber. Being more cloeely in touch with the 
Government, the House of Peers has more real power by 
far than the House of Representatives. 

We must also consider the other elements of the Con- 
stitution in order to appreciate the full bearings of the 
party idea upon general political life in Japan. The apex, 
and centre of the -Tnp*nAflA finvpmmpnt ia. the Throne, 
about which are grouped all the hierarchies of official- 
dom. The Constitution has embodied and made per- 
manent the old Shinto belief in the heavenly desoent 
and personal divinity of the Mikado. The character of 
this portion of Japanese constitutional law is indicated 
by the following passage from Marquis Ito's Commen- 
taries on the Japanese Constitution : " The Sacred Throne 
was established at the time the heavens and the earth 
became separated. The Emperor is Heaven-descended, 
divine, and sacred. He is preeminent above all his sub- 
jects. He must be reverenced, and is inviolable. He has 
indeed, to pay due respect to the law, but the law has no 
power to hold him accountable to it. Not only shall there 
be no irreverence for the Emperor's person, but also 
shall he not be made a topic for derogatory comment nor 
one of discussion." As long as the conception embodied 
in this extract is still a living force in Japanese politics, 



384 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 



the centre of gravity will not be shifted from the Govern- 
ment to the popular representation in the Diet. § 

Qenro, or elder statesmen. Eoj^JgxtjC^eaiSuJCsince the 
restoration of the Emperor) thisjBQUpLoLlgaderSy con- 
stantly dwindling but essentially permanent in person- 
nel and ideas, has supported thft hnrrfep Qf i^gponmhiU 

ity. It is they who have piloted the Japanosg state and 
people in their perilous passage ifom the aid to the new 
civilization. They have combined great foresight in 
matters of international development and foreign inter- 
course with constructive talent which has enabled them 
at the proper time to create the means and measures for 

domestic progress. A 1J.thJ?i-bf3Lflif* mi * ar *ihp Jgjjgfct ** 
constant popular opposition an d misu nderstanding 
Steadied by the traditions of Japanese civilization and by 
their personal allegiance to the Throne, loyal to one an- 
other, they quietly and firmly carried out a consistent 
policy leading to a more efficient organisation of the 
Japanese state. 

Their cohesion is explained by the f actJthai. th^y be- 
longed to the clans who had origi nally supported the 
imperial restoration. Even now, when only four or five 
of the original Genro survive, they, as well as nearly all 
their important followers, are taken from a small num- 
ber of clans. Thus, Choshu has furnished Ito, Yamagata, " 
Inouye, Katsura, Hayashi, and numerous other leaders. 
The two principal representatives of Satsuma are Mar- 



PARTIES AND GOVERNMENT 385 

quis Oyama and Count Matsukata. Hizen, with Count 
Okuma, and Toea, with Count Itagaki, have furnished 
the brains and impulse of the opposition. Added to the 
principle of clan allegiance is that of personal leadership. 
All of these men, Yamagata, Ito, Okuma, and others, 
have a large personal following, attracted by their per- 
sonal qualities. They begin the recruiting of a following 
in good season, among the promising students of the 
Japanese universities. Count Okuma has long been the 
patron, and has now become the President, of Waseda 
University; and similarly the ultra-conservative Mar- 
quis Yamagata looks after the education of young men 
through whom he hopes to secure the future advance of 
his policies. 

The institution through which the Oenro or elder 
statesmen have chiefly exercised their influence is the 
Privy Council. Throughout the warlike. period of the 
last decade this body has stood above the Cabinet, and, 
as the direct adviser of the Emperor, has been the real 
guardian of the destinies of Japan. Its most influential 
members were Ito, Yamagata, and Matsukata. The 
prominence of Field Marshal Marquis Yamagata, who is 
also the leading member of the supreme military council, 
indicates the importance of the army organization in the 
Japanese state. Indeed, economic and political life must 
subordinate itself to the efficiency of the military ma- 
chine. As already indicated, these leaders have not at all 
times been able to count on the united support of the 



386 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

Japanese nation. Very bitter attacks have from time to 
time been made upon them, and they have frequently 
been in personal danger on account of the traditional 
popular feeling among the Japanese that it is a worthy 
act to put out of the way a man who is unjust or tyran- 
nical, provided the assailant is ready to expiate his deed 
with his own life. Most of the prominent Japanese states- 
men have at one time or another been threatened by the 
hand of the assassin. Okubo was killed by a reactionary, 
and Viscount Mori fell at the hands of an enraged Shinto 
follower, in 1889. Count Itagaki was stabbed by a 
young Hotspur, and Count Okuma had his leg taken off 
in a bomb attack when, in 1888, he was negotiating the 
treaties for the abolition of exterritoriality. Toru Hoehi 
was killed for attempting to introduce methods resem- 
bling those of American party organization and boes- 
dom in Tokyo. Other prominent victims of this prac- 
tice were Yokoi, Omura, and Hirosawa. Such attacks, 
as well as occasional riotous outbursts, are a constant 
warning to the men in power that public Qpigfon f ftjyjnt: 
be ignored. It would indeed seem an inevitable conclu- 
sion that it would be far better to foster the action of 
public opinion through regular and responsible organi- 
sations than to risk such destructive outbursts of law- 
lessness. 

It will be seen that the problem of organising public 
opinion so as to make it truly helpful to the government 
of the state is still far from its solution in Japan. The 



PARTIES AND GOVERNMENT 387 

Japanese state is, in fact, remarkable chiefly on account 
of the effective organization of authority. As in Russia, 
though with a great difference, public action rests on the 
principle of authority rather than on popular consent. 
Authority itself is supported by the, traditions of the 
Empire, by the military organization, made constantly 
more effective on account of the foreign relations of 
Japan, by clan cohesion, which itself is the principle of 
authority working on a smaller area, and finally by the 
wisdom and experience of the representatives of author- 
ity and their notable success in augmenting the power of 
the state. The other principle which ought to be present 
in a modern popular state, that of consent, has no cor- 
responding organization or support. The creation of a 
parliament, indeed, raised hopes of popular control; but 
while parliamentarism has been disappointing in all parts 
of the world, it has been especially ineffectual in Japan. 
Japan lacks the strong and independent spirit of a 
middle class which might make the Diet the centre and 
organ of its influence. The parliamentarians, having 
been confined to the barren task of opposition, lack 
experience in practical administration and constructive 
activity. Their inexperience often leads them to demand 
the unattainable, and impairs their influence and weight 
with the nation as a whole. The international relations 
in which Japan has found herself, necessitating a strong 
armament and repeated wars, have also been extremely 
unfavorable to the development of popular rights. It 



388 CURRENTS IN THE FAR EAST 

is therefore both illogical and impolitic for the opposi- 
tion to favor an aggressive foreign policy and to urge the 
Government on to warlike demonstrations. A national 
party system can develop only in an era of peace and 
domestic progress. 

Opinions may differ as to whether the absence of a 
strong parliament is a source of strength or weakness to 
the Japanese state as a whole. Foreign relations can at 
present be handled with great secrecy and expedition, 
and it cannot be denied that the country has been rapidly 
advancing in general prosperity. But it remains very 
doubtful whether the principle of authority alone can 
ever be a safe basis for state life. In Japan it threatens 
to become excessively developed. The Japanese state is, 
in fact, not only military and bureaucratic, but also 
monopolistic. Railways, manufacturing and distribut- 
ing agencies, and financial institutions are directly owned, 
or at least controlled, by the Government. A formidable 
machine is thus being created, at the risk, it is to be 
feared, of impeding spontaneous national development. 
It is here that the value of a well-organized public opin- 
ion is to be sought. Responsible and truly influential, it 
would keep the Government in touch with the vital forces 
of the nation, so that there might be avoided the build- 
ing up of a lifeless mechanism, temporarily efficient, but 
in the long run bound to become a disastrous impedi- 
ment to the freedom and progress of the people. 



INDEX 



1 
l! 

h 



i 
i 

» 

i 

[• 

ft 



INDEX 



Adi Soma], 100. 
11 Aggressive Hinduism, » 46. 
Aligarh College, 90. 
Ameer AH, Justice, 114. 
Ancestor Worship, 16, 19. 
Ariga, Dr. A., 800. 
Aristocratic morality, 65. 
Arnold, SirE., 811. 
Art, Oriental, 25, 80. 
Arya Soma], 100. 
Aryan ideas, 86. 
Asiatic Society, 97. 

Babuism, 79. 

Bakin, 278. 

Balfour, Mr. A. , on the electrical 

theory of matter, 11. 
Bankim, Chandra C, 86, 87, 92. 
Bengal Academy, 82. 
Bengali literature, 82, 99. 
Bhagavad Gita, 44, 121. 
Bjornson, 109. 
Bose, Amritalal, 87. 
Bose, A. M., 108. 
Bose, Dr. J. C. , 91. 
Bose, P. N., 98. 
Brahmanism, 28. 
Brahmo Soma], 85, 98 ff. 
Buddha and Buddhism, 9, 12, 

18,15,20,21,24,25.28,80,81, 

87, 89, 42, 48, 98, 146, 148, 158, 

155, 277,285, 290. 
Bushido, 58, 288, 297, 889. 
Byron, 828. 

Cams, Dr. Paul, 125. 
Chang Chih-tung, 152, 196, 199, 
218, 219. 



Chang Pin-lin, 147. 

China, Literature, 88 ; pacifism, 
49, 124 ; militarism, 51 ; dem 
ocracy, 25, 55, 116, 256 ; tradi- 
tional political ideals, 116 ff. ; 
martyrdom, 142, 208 ; conserv- 
ative party, 152 ; journalism, 
159 ; political associations, 
162, 255 ; drama, 165 ff. ; 
literary work, 168; revolu- 
tionary party, 170 ; students 
from Japan, 178 ff. ; reform, 
175 ff. ; lack of leadership, 
180; education, 187; public 
school system, 196 ; female ed- 
ucation, 207 ; abolition of old 
education, 211 ff. ; parliament, 
225 ; ,- National Humiliation 
Societies, " 227 ; middle class 
281 ; preparation of constitu 
tion, 286 ; provincial assem 
blies, 287, 289 ff. ; electorate 
288 ; association of the assem 
blies, 242 ; national assembly 
244 ff. ; earlier summoning of 
parliament, 247 ; finance, 251, 
257 ; provincial independence, 
268 ; federal government, 264 ; 
government by equipoise, 
266. 

Chinese character, 198, 218. 

Chinese language, 191, 221. 

Chinese "Oxford movement," 
152. 

Ching, Prince, 254. 

Chomei, 87. 

Chow Li, 125 ff. 

Christian Science, 284. 



392 



INDEX 



Christianity, 10, 186, 287, 200, 
889. 

Chuo ( Central Club ), 871. 

Classicism, Western, 17, 55. 

Colloquial and classical Japan- 
ese, 802, 828. 

Commission for the study of 
constitutional government, 
288 ff. 

Confucius and Confucianism, 9, 
18, 16, 80, 116, 120, 122, 148, 
160, 162, 184, 199, 289, 288, 
290. 

Constitution for China, 288. 

Constitutional Nationalist party 
( Japan ), 871, 875. 

Curzon, Lord, 4. 

Dagh, Nawab Mirza Khan, 86. 

Daido Club, 868, 871, 875. 

Danjuro ( actor ), 818. 

Das, Tulsi, 86. 

Death, Greek portrayal of , 18. 

Democracy, Chinese, 52, 65, 148, 

256. 
Despotism, Oriental, 24. 
Dinabandhu, 86. 
Dostojevskt, 58, 828. 
Drama, in India, 87 ; in Japan, 

814 ff. 
Dutt, A. E., 85. 
Dutt, Romesh C, 77, 82, 98. 
Dutt, Tom, 77. 

Edokko type, 828. 
Elder statesmen, 861, 884. 
Elections in China, 289. 
Empress Dowager, 229. 
Endo Ryukichi, 298. 
Energism in the Orient, 41 ff. 
English novels in Japan, 827. 
Equipoise in Chinese govern- 
ment, 226. 
Ethical ideals, Indian, 42. 



Ethical teachingln Japan, 92 ff. 
Examinations in China, 211 ff. 

Ferguson College, 91. 
Financial questions in China, 

251,257. 
Firdusi, 28. 

French influence in Japan, 857. 
French Revolution, 178, 818. 
Fukuzawa, 888, 847. 
Fukuchi, 888. 

Qembun itM (colloquial Japan- 
ese), 804, 828. 

Genro (elder statesmen), 861, 
884. 

German educational materials in 
China, 222. 

German thought in Japan, 840, 
848. 

Ghalib, 86. 

Ghokale, G. K., 107, 118, 115. 

Ghose, N., 77. 

Ghose, Girish C, 87. 

Ghose, Lalmohun, 118. 

Ghose, R. B., 118. 

Goethe, 88, 109, 827. 

Goreh, Nilakantha, 10. 

Gorky, 828, 851. 

Great Council in China, 94a 

Greek city, 16. 

Haikai (Japanese Terse), 818, 

814. 
Hart, Sir Robert, 297. 
Hasagawa, 821, 828. 
Hawkins, Horatio B., 187. 
Hearn, Lafcadio, 18, 846, 849. 
Heredia, 815. 
Higuchi, Ichyo, 828. 
Hinduism, 42, 46, 48. 
Hindustan Review, 78. 
Hindustani, 84. 
Historic studies, 92, 158, 800. 



INDEX 



393 



Hochi Shimbun, 884, 876. 
Hoshi, Tom, 886. 
Huxley, 282, 288. 

Impersonality of the Orient, 
15. 

India, education, 68 ff.; Mogul 
rule in, 64 ; British rule in, 
65; the vernaculars, 77, 81, 
84; press, 78; economic and 
historic studies, 88 ff. ; reli- 
gious movements, 88 ff . ; social 
reform, 102 ff. ; unrest in, 105 ; 
political life, 110; civil ser- 
vice, 114 ; National Congress, 
80, 106 ; congresses and con- 
ferences, 88, 108 ; drama, 87 ; 
scientific work, 88 ff. 

Individualism, 17, 54, 57, 128, 
188,288. 

Industry, household, 25. 

Inouye, Tetsujiro, 52, 288, 296, 
846. 

Itagaii, Count, 856, 857, 860, 
868. 

Ito, Prince (Count, Marquis), 
846, 856, 857, 860, 862, 868, 
864, 866, 872, 877, 879, 885. 

Iwano, Homei, 824. 

Jainlsm, 42. 

James, Henry, 822. 

James, William, 44. 

Japan, spiritism, 19 ; an epitome 
of Asia, 22 ; civilization, 29 ; 
nationalism, 81 ; nature wor- 
ship, 82 ; energism, 52 ; sui- 
cide in, 54, 849 ; Chinese 
students in, 172 ; influence on 
Chinese education, 210 ff.; 
effect of victories, 227 ; Diet, 
265 ; religion, 280 ; Bud- 
dhism, 285 ; imperial edict on 
education 290 ; philosophical 



endowment, 295; historical 
studies, 298; language, 802 
imagination, 808 ; poetry, 
811 ; drama, 814 ff.; journal 
ism, 888 ; literature, 820 ff. 
education, 844 ; literary ca 
reers, 842; biographical writ 
ing, 880 ; leaders in scientific 
work, 858 ; parliamentary 
government, 855 ; electoral 
campaign, 859, 869; Progres- 
sive and Liberal parties, 857, 
861 ; powers of the Diet, 858. 
881 ; ministerial responsibil- 
ity, 864, 872 ; House of Peers, 
865, 872, 882 ; controversy on 
school readers, 878; political 
parties and foreign affairs, 
874; clan government, 884; 
Privy Council, 885; central- 
ization and authority, 888. 
Journalism, in India, 81 ; in 
China, 159 ; in Japan, 888. 

Ea Ming-tang, 170. 

Rang Yu-wei, 141, 159. 

Kant, 296. 

Kato Hiroyuki, Baron Dr., 296, 
848,849. 

Eatsura, Viscount, 862, 865, 
868, 870, 872. 

Eawakami ( actor ), 219. 

Eawakami, Blzan, 887. 

Eeio, Gijuku, 888, 847. 

Kensei-to ( party alliance), 862. 

Eiangsu, trouble about opium, 
245. 

Eing Ya-mei, Dr., 198, 207. 

Einnosuke, 201, 807, 822. 

Eitao, Jiro, Dr., 840. 

Eoda, Rohan, 804, 821, 826. 

Eodama, 808, 865. 

Eogaku-ha ("back to anti- 
quity " school ) 295. 



394 



INDEX 



Kokumin, 885, 849. 
Ku Hung-ming, 152. 
Kume, Kunitake, 280, 800. 
Kwantung, recall of members of 
the assembly, 242 tL 

Lao-Tee, 50, 122 ff. 

Liang Chichao, 140, 185, 166. 

Liberal party in Japan, 857, 861, 

868. 
Literary education, in India, 

270 ; in China, 189. 
Literature, Bengali, 82, 09 ; 

Japanese, 820 tL, Chinese, 

168 ff. 

Macaulay, Lord, on * Indian 
education, 68. 

Mahavao, 8irT., 111. 

Mail, The Japan, 272. 

Malabari, 108, 112. 

Manchu dynasty, 187. 

Manchus and Chinese, 280. 

Mandarin dialect, 221. 

Materialism, 184, 851. 

Masaoka, Shiki, 814 

Matsukata, Count, 861. 

Maupassant, 828, 851. 

Maya, Veil of, 12, 14, 46. 

Meadows, on Chinese political 
tradition, 121. 

Mehta, Sir P., 112. 

Memory training in India, 72. 

Mencius, 120. 

Militarism, 51. 

Mitra, Rajendra Lai, 96. 

Mitsui & Co., 286. 

Miyake, Setsurei, on Ito and 
Okuma, 879. 

Mori, Eainan, 814. 

Morison, Mr. Theodore, 66. 

Muller, Max, on Oriental truth- 
fulness, 9. 

Mysticism, 18, 14, 102. 



Nagai, Kafn, 825. 

Nagri Praekartni Sabka, 85. 

Nakae, Tokusuke, 847. 

Nakamura, Keiu, 848. 

Naoroji, Dadabhai, 112. 

Nationalism, 47, 88. 

Nattume, Soseki, 801, 807, 822. 

Naturalism in Japan, 828, 826. 

Natural law, 59. 

Nature in the Orient, 14, 27*. 

Nature, mastery oyer, 57, 59, 90. 

Neo-Confudaniam, 180, 182, 

149. 
Nichiren, 288. 
Nietzsche, 45, 48, 147, 283, 297, 

299. 
Nippon SKugi movement, 288, 

820. 
Nirvana. 24, 49. 
Nitobe, Inazo, Dr., 888. 
Nivedita, Sister, 46. 
No plays, 814. 

Ogwai, Mori, 824. 

Oishi, 874, 876. 

Okaknra, 21. 

Okuma, Count, 847, 858, 857, 

875, 876, 879, 885. 
Omiki ( founder of a sect ), 284. 
Otani, Kozui, Count, 277. 
Ou-yang Hsiu, 88. 
Oyomei, tee Wang Tang-ming. 
Ozaki, Eoyo, 804, 807, 821. 

Pali scholarship in India, 96. 
Paranjape, R. P., 91. 
Pacifism in China, 49, 124. 
Parsee leaders in India, 112. 
Patriotism in Japan, 28. 
Peking, university of, 196. 
Pessimism, Asiatic, 28, 27, 49. 
Plato, 45, 62, 126. 
Poetry in Japan, 811 ff. 
Pragmatism, 44, 189. 



INDEX 



395 



Press In India, 81 ; In China, 

100 ; in Japan, 888. 
Progressive party in Japan, 857, 

861, 867, 871, 874. 
Provincial assemblies in China, 

287 ff. 
Pulun, Prince, 888, 850, 858. 

Queue cutting propaganda, 280, 

850. 
Quietism, 49, 185. 

Ramakrishna, 87, 101. 
Ranade, M. S., 04, 108. 
Renaissance, 188. 
Renunciation, 48, 48. 
Revolutionary doctrine in China, 

150, 169. 
Rousseau, 170, 176, 182, 806, 847. 
Roy, Rammohun, 85. 
Russia, 4, 58. 
Russian influence on Japanese 

literature, 828. 

Saito, Ryokuwu, 887. 
Sanskrit scholarship in India, 06. 
Satcho leaders in Japan, 859. 
Schopenhauer, 8, 48, 207. 
Scientific training, 50, 88, 156, 

846. 
Seiyukai (Constitutional Party), 

868, 866, 868, 871. 
Sen, Eeshub C, 80. 
Sen, D. C, 04. 
Shaku, Soyen, 278. 
Shlbusawa, Baron, 288. 
Shiga, 888. 

Shimazaki, Toson, 818, 824. 
Shinto, 280, 284, 288, 812. 
Singh, Q. N., 46. 
Singh, Sir Amar, 89. 
Sircar, Nalin B., 118. 
Socialist ideas, in medieval 

China, 128. 



Spencer, 288, 888, 896. 
Spiritism, 16, 18, 58. 
Spirituality, 60. 
Suicide in Japan, 54, 849. 
Sun Yat-sen, Dr., 170. 
Suyematsu, Baron, on Japanese 

character, 804. 
Syed Mahmud, Justice, 114 

Tagi, Mir, 86. 

Tagore, Rablndranath, 86, 87. 

Takayama, 888, 888. 

Tan Sze-tong, 140. 

Tang Shao-yi, 812. 

Taoism, 50, 122, 155. 

Tata (Indian philanthropist), 89. 

Tatsu Mam incident, 211. 

Tayama, Ewatai, 825. 

Technical education, 89, 846. 

Tenri Kyokai (sect), 284. 

Thibet, 158. 

Tilak, B. G., 97. 

Toa Dobunkai (" Society of the 
same script "), 210. 

Togo, Admiral, 188. 

Tokio life in literature, 228. 

Tokio, student life in, 217; uni- 
versity of, 296, 845. 

Tokutomi, Kenjiro, 841. 

Tokutomi, Yichiro, 842. 

Tolstoy, 50, 841. 

Tong Kai-son, 228. 

Toyabe, Shuntei, 882. 

Tragic feeling in Japan, 24, 
81. 

Truthfulness, controversy con- 
cerning, 5, 41. 

Tsai Chu-tung, 182. 

Tsecheng Yuan (advisory coun- 
cil), 281, 244 ff., 247. 

Tsubotichi Yuzo, 818, 321, 822. 

Tuan. Fang, 174, 199, 207. 

United States, and Chinese ed 



396 



INDEX 



ucatlon, SIS, the returned In* 
demnity fund, 217. 
Urdu, 84. 

Vedanta, 97, 100. 
Vedlc funeral rite, 86. 
Veracity, contioreny concern- 

ing, 541. 
Vidyaeagar, Iahwar C, 85, 06. 
Vivekananda, 44, 45, 47, 101, 

108. 

Wang-Tang -ming (Oyomei), 21, 

44, 51, 182, 186, 148. 
Wang An-ahih, 128. 
Wong Li-chow, 129, 180. 



Wanda unirertlty, 847. 
Women, education of In China, 
807. 

Yacco, Sada, Madame, 819. 
Yamagata, Marquis, 883, 865, 

868, 870, 885. 
Yang Tau, 284. 
Yattahhuaon, 97. 
Yellow peril, 25, 84. 
Yen Fu, 157, 212, 281. 
Yen Sheng, Duke, 200. 
Yin Chang, General, 252. 
Yoahikawa, H., 842. 
Yuan Bhi-kai, 199. 
Yuahinkai (Reform Party), 870. 



SWK2S! 



the liate last stamped below 



MAY-S^StS" 



I^U-t-i- 1 "'' 






/